MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) is a condition of intermittent memory loss. Its symptoms range from age-related memory problems to Alzheimer’s disease. Warning signs include difficulty with learning, reasoning, and decision making.
People over sixty five with MCI have a higher probability of developing Alzheimer’s compared to those without MCI. More than fifty percent of those with MCI could develop Alzheimer’s within five years.
However, those with MCI may never develop symptoms. Some return to “normal” brain function.
Let’s consider “mind, body, strength” (MBSR) exercises, including yoga. These activities reduce stress, improve sleep, bolster memory, improve quality of life, and delay onset of mental decline.
A clinical trial showed that compared to a control (non-treated) group, the MBSR group showed increased function and connectivity to specific brain regions. This included the hippocampus, which is the brain region that retains memory and focus.
In addition, the treated group showed less hippocampal shrinkage compared to the control group, as well as less anxiety and improved brain function.
Exercise sessions included rhythmic breathing, focus, and control of distracting thoughts and emotions. Participants reported anxiety reduction by as much as twenty two percent. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) imaging in conjunction with MBSR showed activation of specific brain regions that control anxiety. Those who participated reported less anxiety and improved mental focus after four to six hours of training.
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Doctor’s joke: As a patient was leaving the doctor’s office, the nurse pulled his wife aside and said, “there’s nothing wrong with your husband. He just thinks he ‘s sick."
Several days later, the nurse called the man’s wife. “How’s your husband?”
“He’s worse, the wife replied. “Now he thinks he’s dead.”
Questions or comments? Contact Dr. Clem at clementhanson.blogspot.com