In 2017, 5.5 million Americans were estimated to have Alzheimer’s dementia, and it is expected to affect 13.8 million American’s by 2050 (Alzheimer’s Association, 2017, p. 24). The estimated lifetime risk of Alzheimer’s disease at age 45 is 1 in 5 for women, and 1 in 10 for men (Alzheimer’s Association, 2017, p. 23). Dementia is one of the costliest medical conditions; related costs are projected to increase from $259 billion annually in 2017 to more than $1.1 trillion in 2050 (in 2017 dollars; Alzheimer’s Association, 2017, p. 60). No current pharmacological treatment has the capacity to stop, slow, or reverse neurological damage caused by this fatal disease (Alzheimer’s Association, 2017). Nonpharmacological therapies might delay or prevent symptom expression. In the current study, research relevant to reserve, mindfulness meditation, and Alzheimer’s disease is examined. Conferring the most up-to-date research by gathering and integrating interdisciplinary data helps to clarify the direction of future research that ultimately could influence the discovery of a successful prevention or treatment for this debilitating disease. An integrated literature review was conducted by searching multiple databases on ProQuest, for articles containing specific key words (Alzheimer, dementia, mindfulness, meditation, & reserve). Reserve is the brains capacity to compensate for pathology, and the literature appears to indicate that mindfulness meditation may play a strong role in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and in the delay of symptom expression by utilizing underlying neural mechanisms which increase reserve. These underlying mechanisms include increased attention, reduced cortisol production, reduced oxidation, increased emotional regulation, increased brain volume, and improved sleep.
|Advisor:||Tong, Benjamin R., Bersing, Doris|
|School:||California Institute of Integral Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Aging, Health sciences, Pathology|
|Keywords:||Alzheimer's, Cognitive, Dementia, Meditation, Preventative, Reserve|
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