Practicing a specific type of daily meditation may help individuals overcome memory problems. A study at the University of Pennsylvania showed that eight weeks of Kirtan Kriya (KK) meditation from the age-old Kundalini yoga tradition increased brain activity in areas key to memory and improved cognition in the 15 men and women, ranging in age from 52 to 77, who took part in the small study. At the outset they were given cognitive tests, and their cerebral blood flow was measured with imaging scans. The participants were then taught KK and instructed to practice it daily for eight weeks. KK, sometimes called a singing exercise, involves singing the sounds, Saa Taa Naa Maa along with repetitive finger movements, or mudras. For comparison, five other individuals were told to spend 12 minutes a day listening to two Mozart violin concertos. At the end of the study, scans showed increased cerebral blood flow in the meditation group participants, but no statistically significant increase in the music group. Meditation group participants also did significantly better on a neuropsychological test and in other tests of general memory, attention and cognition. No such improvements occurred in the music group. The findings were announced by the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation.
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