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Lowering Alzheimer's Risk Through Conscious Breathing Exercises

alzheimer's disease resonance frequency breathing Jun 30, 2023
stopping Alzheimer's through breathing

Did you know that something as simple as breathing exercises could potentially reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease? According to a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Southern California, the University of California, Irvine, and the University of California, Los Angeles, intentionally slowing down your breath for just 20 to 40 minutes a day may have a lower the levels of peptides in the blood that are associated with Alzheimer's.

In this groundbreaking research, which was published in Scientific Reports, scientists explored the relationship between behavior change and neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer's. They wanted to understand whether age-related changes in the nervous system's responsiveness could play a role in the development of this devastating disease.

As we grow older, it's common to experience an increase in our high-stress state and a decrease in our relaxation state. The researchers focused on heart rate variability (HRV), which measures the fluctuation between heartbeats and is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. A high HRV indicates an adaptable body, while a low HRV is associated with reduced adaptability.

To investigate the effects of breathing on HRV and Alzheimer's markers, the study enrolled 162 participants of different age groups. These individuals were divided into two groups, each assigned a different intervention. One group practiced slow breathing exercises with specific breathing cycles, while the other group engaged in self-generated stress reduction strategies like imagining peaceful scenes or listening to calming music.

Both groups were instructed to complete at least one 20-minute session per day for four weeks, during which real-time data was collected through biofeedback measurements. Blood samples were taken before and after the study to analyze the levels of Alzheimer's-related peptides.

The findings were remarkable. The group that practiced slow breathing exercises experienced significantly lower levels of the two peptides associated with Alzheimer's disease. On the other hand, the group that focused on stress reduction strategies showed higher levels of these peptides. These results suggest that adopting a daily practice of slow breathing exercises could potentially reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's or slow down its progression.

The authors of the study are excited about these "novel data" that support a behavioral intervention capable of reducing amyloid-beta peptide levels, which are associated with Alzheimer's. However, further studies are needed to confirm these results and fully understand the underlying mechanisms.

Another study conducted by Professor Mara Mather from USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology sheds more light on the effects of breathing exercises on Alzheimer's markers. Participants in this study were instructed to follow a simple breathing pattern of inhaling and exhaling for a count of five over a 20-minute period, twice a day, for four weeks.

All the participants clipped a heart monitor onto their ear which was connected to a laptop. Half the group was told to try and make themselves calm through thinking, like imagining a beach or a walk in a park, or listening to calming music. Meanwhile, they were instructed to keep an eye on their heart rate as displayed on the laptop screen, making sure the heart rate line stayed as steady as possible while they meditated.

The other group was breathe in timing with a pacer on the screen - as the sphere expanded, they inhaled, and as the sphere shrank, they exhaled. They also monitored their heart rates, which tended to rise in peaks as they inhaled and dip down to baseline as they exhaled. Their goal was to increase the breathing-induced oscillations in their heart rate.

The results showed that those who did the breathing exercise were able to increase their heart rate variability and at the same time, decrease the levels of amyloid beta peptides in their blood. This suggests a potential link between slow breathing, increased heart rate variability, and reduced amyloid beta production. 

While the exact reasons behind this connection remain unclear, the researchers suspect that the decrease in amyloid beta may be primarily due to reduced production. However, they also acknowledge the possibility of increased clearance playing a role as well.

Both studies included participants of different age groups, and interestingly, both young and older participants showed similar positive effects on Alzheimer's markers after engaging in the respective breathing exercises.

These findings hold immense promise for future research and suggest that incorporating simple breathing exercises into our daily routines could be a practical and accessible way to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

So why not take a few minutes each day to focus on your breath and potentially safeguard your brain health? It's a small investment that could have significant long-term benefits. 

To practice a breathing exercise which is similar to what was used in this study, Try our guided Resonance Frequency breathing practice and when you are ready to further with it, check out one of our courses on conscious breathing!



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