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Old Age and Brain Function
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The first of two articles I read online was a BBC News report describing the mental slowing down in old age partly caused by being more easily distracted, according to a BBC report.

The article went on to say that the brains of older people were processing too much unnecessary information, activations that in certain regions of the brain of younger people are quieter or turned down.

Older people had an inability to "tune out" the distractions or inhibit the processing of extraneous signals.

In a bit of serendipity, shortly after that, I read an article entitled "Meditation May Protect Your Brain". Scientists are using cutting-edge technology to watch the meditating mind at work.

Meditation may have a neuro-protective effect. People who were experienced meditators were able to acknowledge a brief interruption of meditation and return rapidly to the meditative (focused) state. Those who were not practitioners of meditation, once interrupted, were subject to mind wandering, intrusive thoughts, subvocalizations.

Additionally, it was found, by means of functional MRIs, that the neuroplastic brain had changed by means of regular meditation; meditators had noticeably thicker tissue in the prefrontal cortex (the region responsible for attention and control).

Perhaps meditation can help protect the brain against the breakdown of the ability to concentrate and focus as the body ages, enabling people to think and react more rapidly. Be that as it may, meditation clearly has benefits at all ages to clear the mind, calm the emotions and focus attention.

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