Alzheimer's Santillán by YogaClicks


About

Chronic stress can affect the areas of the brain responsible for memory and cognition, and cause inflammation in the body and in the central nervous system/brain – all of which are linked to Alzheimer’s.

Physiologically yoga, meditation and mindfulness can help to change the balance of the autonomic nervous system - towards (relaxed) parasympathetic dominance, calming the adrenal glands, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, improving hormone function and oxygen uptake.

This can also be of benefit to carers who are themselves under a lot of stress and often feel that they have little right to take time out to look after themselves.

These practices help us live in the present and have been associated with ‘now moments of engagement’. Clinical studies suggest they increase feelings of joy, and improve mild sufferers’ ability to carry out the routine activities of daily life like eating, bathing and dressing. This is what makes them helpful in Alzheimer's treatment.

Also see Memory Loss.


What the clinical studies say

Yoga
  • Changes caregivers perceptions of patients
  • Improvement for mild Alzheimer's sufferers in 'Activities of Daily Living' (ADL). Routine activities that well people do everyday without assistance: eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, walking and continence.
  • Improves 'Now moments of engagement'
  • Increases joy

The clinical studies

Meditation Effects on Cognitive Function and Cerebral Blood Flow In Subjects with Memory Loss: A Preliminary Study
Practice
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
Abstract

This preliminary study determined if subjects with memory loss problems demonstrate changes in memory and cerebral blood flow (CBF) after a simple 8-week meditation program.

Fourteen subjects with memory problems had an IV inserted and were injected with 250MBq of Tc-99m ECD while listening to a neutral stimulus CD. They then underwent a pre-program baseline SPECT scan. Then subjects were guided through their first meditation session with a CD, during which they received an injection of 925MBq ECD, and underwent a pre-program meditation scan. Subjects completed an 8-week meditation program and underwent the same scanning protocol resulting in a post-program baseline and meditation scan. A region of interest (ROI) template obtained counts in each ROI normalized to whole brain to provide a CBF ratio. Baseline and meditation scans and neuropsychological testing were compared before and after the program.

The meditation program resulted in significant increases (p< 0.05) in baseline CBF ratios in the prefrontal, superior frontal, and superior parietal cortices. Scores on neuropsychological tests of verbal fluency, Trails B, and logical memory showed improvements after training.

This preliminary study evaluated whether an 8-week meditation program resulted in improvements in neuropsychological function and differences in CBF in subjects with memory loss. While the findings are encouraging, there are a number of limitations that can be addressed in future studies with more participants and more detailed analyses.
Citations

40
Authors

Andrew B. Newberg | Nancy Wintering | Dharam S. Khalsa | Hannah Roggenkamp | Mark R. Waldman
Published

2010
Journal

Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume / Issue

20:2
Author's primary institution

Center for Spirituality and the Mind, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
The Meaning of “Now” Moments of Engagement in Yoga for Persons With Alzheimer’s Disease
Practice
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the meaning of a multisensory chair yoga program for persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD) living in three assisted living community homes.

Twenty-six individuals (ages 69 to 98), 19 females and 7 males, participated in a ten week chair yoga program, twice a week for 30-55 minutes. Narrative progress notes, audio-visual images, and emails with caregiver and family feedback were analyzed by using grounded theory. From the findings a core category, Personalized Now Moments of Engagement, was generated with three overarching sub-categories: (a) characteristics and stages of AD, (b) multisensory design and yoga class format, and (c) expressing connection through actions. In addition, meaningful discovery by family and caregivers noted perception changes about the residents and increasing joy.

Study findings tend to support Validation Therapy (VT) concepts. Findings may facilitate a re-evaluation of the current theories and models of treatment for persons with AD and offer recreation therapists a conceptual framework to facilitate engagements with them, their families, and caregivers
Citations

0
Authors

L. G Litchke | J. S. Hodges
Published

2014
Journal

Therapeutic Recreation Journal
Volume / Issue

48:3
Author's primary institution

The Department of Health and Human Performance, Texas State University
Benefits of Chair Yoga for Persons With Mild to Severe Alzheimer's Disease
Practice
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
Abstract

This study evaluated a 10-week chair yoga intervention on cognition, balance, activities of daily living (ADLs), anxiety, and depression for persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Residents were assigned to three groups: (a) mild AD (n = 6), (b) moderate AD (n = 6), or (c) severe AD (n = 7). There was no significant change in balance, anxiety, or cognition.

ADLs showed a significant effect (p = .02), which suggests that yoga may have more benefit early in the progression of AD. Depression increased significantly (p < .01). Yoga over an extended period of time with a larger sample size may demonstrate benefits to persons with AD and serve as means to improve overall quality of life.
Citations

0
Authors

Lyn G. Litchke | Jan S. Hodges | Robert F Reardon
Published

2012
Journal

Activities, Adaption & Aging
Volume / Issue

36:4
Author's primary institution

Department of Health and Human Performance, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA

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