A small, randomized pilot study of adult patients with MCI showed that those who received mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) therapy for 8 weeks had a greater increase in functional connectivity between brain regions related to both MCI and AD than those who received usual care.
These regions included the posterior cingulate cortex, the bilateral medial prefrontal cortex, and the left hippocampus.
In addition, there was "a trend" toward less bilateral hippocampal volume atrophy in the patients who received MBSR compared with the usual-care group.
"This study suggests that an intervention with meditation and yoga may impact the areas of the brain that are most susceptible to developing dementia," lead author Rebecca Erwin Wells, MD, MPH, who was at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, at the time of the study.
Dr. Wells noted that although this was a small, preliminary study, she is "very excited" about the findings.
"MBSR is a relatively simple intervention, with very little downside, that may provide real promise for these individuals. If [it] can help delay the symptoms of cognitive decline even a little bit, it can contribute to improved quality of life," said Dr. Wells in a release.
For further information about this study, click here