Meditation and Gray Matter in the Brain

Meditation might slow the age-related loss of gray matter in the brain

Building on their earlier work that suggested people who meditate have less age-related atrophy in the brain's white matter, a new study by UCLA researchers found that meditation appeared to help preserve the brain's gray matter, the tissue that contains neurons.

The scientists looked specifically at the association between age and gray matter. They compared 50 people who had mediated for years and 50 who didn’t. People in both groups showed a loss of gray matter as they aged. But the researchers found among those who meditated, the volume of gray matter did not decline as much as it did among those who didn’t.

…The researchers cautioned that they cannot draw a direct, causal connection between meditation and preserving gray matter in the brain. Too many other factors may come into play, including lifestyle choices, personality traits, and genetic brain differences.

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