No cognitive benefits seen for meditation, nonnative language training

No cognitive benefits seen for meditation, nonnative language training

Meditation and nonnative language training appear not to confer cognitive effects, according to a study published online July 14 in JAMA Network Open to coincide with the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, held from July 16 to 20 in Amsterdam.

Harriet Demnitz-King, from University College London, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of the Age-Well trial involving community-dwelling adults aged 65 years and older. A total of 135 participants were randomly assigned to 18 months of meditation training, nonnative language (English) training, or no intervention; one participant did not complete the trial.

The researchers observed no interaction effects between visit and group for Preclinical Alzheimer Cognitive Composite 5, episodic memory, executive function, or attention in adjusted mixed-effects models. Across sensitivity and exploratory analyses, the results remained unchanged.

“While further analyses are required to explore the effects of meditation and nonnative language training on other pertinent aging and well-being outcomes, our findings indicate that the cognitive benefits of these interventions are limited in cognitively healthy older adults,” the authors write.

One author reported coauthorship of a book on mindfulness-based intervention workshops; a second author reported work as a mindfulness meditation teacher.

More information:
Harriet Demnitz-King et al, Effects of Meditation Training and Non-Native Language Training on Cognition in Older Adults, JAMA Network Open (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.17848

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Journal information:
JAMA Network Open

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