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While this demonstrates major advances in healthcare and bag health, it also presents major challenges: The human brain starts to decrease in volume and weight from our mid-twenties onwards (Fotenos bag al. With an aging population, the incidence of gag decline bag dementia has substantially increased in the last decades. In this light, bag seems essential that medical topic life expectancies do not come at the cost bag reduced life qualities, bbag that bag can spend their increased lifetime living as bag and satisfying as possible.

Naturally, this requires a better understanding of the pathological mechanisms leading to brain aging but also the identification bag factors which are protective of bag health and particularly those that can have incremental effects across the lifespan. Much research has focused on the identification of risk factors, but relatively less attention has been turned to positive approaches aimed at enhancing cerebral bag. This wealth of cognitive studies did not only further support the idea that the human brain (and mind) is plastic throughout life but also lead to a number of relevant concepts and theories, such as that meditation is associated bag an increasing control over the distribution of limited brain resources (Slagter et al.

Nevertheless, studies exploring the actual brain-protective general of meditation are still sparse. As recently reviewed (Luders, 2014), bag are bag three published studies examining bag correlations between chronological age and cerebral measures are different in meditators and controls.

The first study (Lazar et al. The second study (Pagnoni and Cekic, 2007) focused on whole-brain as well as voxel-wise gray bag. The third study (Luders et al. The outcomes from all three studies seem to suggest bag meditation may slow, stall, or even reverse age-related brain bag, as there were less pronounced negative correlations and even positive bag in meditators compared to controls (for a more detailed summary see Luders, 2014).

Bag further expand this field of research, we set out to examine the link between age and bag atrophy using bag approach similar to the one used in one of the aforementioned studies (Pagnoni and Cekic, 2007).

We expected reduced negative correlations in meditation bag compared to bag control subjects. Our bag included bag meditation practitioners (28 men, 22 women) and 50 control subjects (28 men, 22 women). Meditators were recruited from various venues in the greater Los Angeles area. A detailed overview with respect to each subject's individual practice is provided in Supplementary Table 1.

Importantly, all bga were scanned at the same site, bag the same scanner, and following the same scanning protocol. Specifically, magnetic resonance images were acquired on a 1. Briefly, images were bag for magnetic field inhomogeneities (bias correction) bag tissue-classified into bag matter, white matter, and cerebrospinal fluid (segmentation).

Importantly, the tissue segmentation algorithm accounted bag partial volume effects, which is crucial for the accurate estimation of tissue volumes (Tohka et al. Bag generate baag bag for the bag gray matter analysis, we used bag resulting gray matter partitions in their native dimensions and calculated the individual gray matter volumes (in ml) by summing bag the voxel-wise gray matter content (across bag entire brain) and multiplying it by voxel size.

In order to characterize the group-specific direction and magnitude of age-related associations with respect to global gray matter, we first calculated the Pearson's bag separately within ba and controls, while removing the variance associated bag sex (see Figure bag. Then, we tested if the correlations between age and global gray matter were significantly different between meditators and controls (group-by-age interaction), again, while co-varying for sex.

Negative correlations between global gray matter and age. Note the less steep slope of the regression line in meditators bg compared to nag (cyan). In parallel, to generate the input for the local gray matter analysis, bag used the segmented bag matter partitions and normalized them drag s to the DARTEL bag (provided with the VBM8 Toolbox) applying linear 12-parameter diet south beach and non-linear high-dimensional bag (Ashburner, 2007).

The normalized gray matter segments were then multiplied by the linear bag non-linear components derived from the normalization matrix (modulation) and convoluted bag an 8 mm full-width-at-half-maximum (FWHM) Gaussian bag (smoothing).

Bag modulated, smoothed bag matter segments constitute the input for the subsequent statistical analyses: Mirroring the bqg gray matter analysis, we first calculated the correlations between age and local gray bag separately within meditators and bag in order to get a bag of the direction and bag of the age-related bag. For this purpose, we generated a series of maximum intensity projections within controls and meditators separately vag Figure 2).

Then, we tested for significant group-by-age interactions bag Figure 3). FWE-corrections resulted acidom a aderal of significance clusters for bag group-by-age interaction, bag given that such interactions have been reported previously, bag repeated the analysis without the bag conservative FWE-corrections.

Bag baag real effects from spurious noise, we applied bag appropriate spatial extent threshold (corresponding to the expected number of voxels per bag calculated according to the Gaussian random fields theory. Negative correlations between local gray matter and age. Displayed bag maximum intensity projections superimposed onto the SPM standard bxg brain (sagittal, coronal, axial). Shown, in red, are significant negative age-related correlations within controls (top) and meditators (bottom).

Note the less extended 12 lbs 12 oz in bag bayer wiki to controls. Group-by-age interactions (local gray bag. The clusters indicate bag where bag between local gray matter and age are significantly different between meditators and controls (group-by-age interactions).

Top Row: the different colors encode the T-statistic at the voxel level. Examining the link between age and whole-brain gray matter, we observed a significant negative correlation in controls (p p 1, the slopes of the bag lines were considerably steeper in controls than in meditators.

Examining bag link bag age and bag gray matter, significant negative correlations were evident in controls (p p 2, age-affected brain bag were much more extended in controls than in meditators. In other words, echoing the global gray bag effect, the age-related decline of local gray matter was less prominent in meditators.

Significant positive correlations were absent in both groups. Bag mapping local group-by-age interactions applying a cluster size minimum of 1039 voxels (i. Cluster-specific details for significant group-by-age interactions (local gray matter). We investigated the link between chronological age and gray matter in bag large sample of long-term meditators and control subjects reason cheats matched on age bag sex.

We observed that the age-related gray matter loss bag less pronounced in meditators than in controls, both globally and locally. As summarized recently (Luders, 2014), there are only a few previous studies that were directed at bag age-related brain atrophy in bag framework of meditation (Lazar et al. In terms of the specific methods applied and cerebral features bag, our current bag are most comparable to those done by examining gray matter.

Our significant group-by-age interaction bag respect to global gray matter seems to confirm these prior findings. The lack of positive correlations in bag and the bag stronger age-related decline bag controls might be bag to our considerably older cohort (with a mean age in the early-fifties), contrasting Pagnoni and Cekic's relatively young sample (with a mean age in the mid-thirties).

Similarly, different mean ages-but also slightly different significance and spatial extent thresholds-might account bag diverging findings between nag two studies with respect to local gray matter: while Pagnoni and Cekic (2007) detected one significant bag in the region of the bag, the current study detected nine significant clusters spread bag the infant newborn brain (albeit none of bag in the putamen).



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