Navigation Links
Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study
Date:5/25/2011

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults who say they've had a life-changing religious experience are more likely to have a greater decrease in size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain critical to learning and memory, new research finds.

According to the study, people who said they were a "born-again" Protestant or Catholic, or conversely, those who had no religious affiliation, had more hippocampal shrinkage (or "atrophy") compared to people who identified themselves as Protestants, but not born-again.

The study is published online in PLoS ONE.

As people age, a certain amount of brain atrophy is expected. Shrinkage of the hippocampus is also associated with depression, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

In the study, researchers asked 268 people aged 58 to 84 about their religious affiliation, spiritual practices and life-changing religious experiences. Over the course of two to eight years, changes to the hippocampus were monitored using MRI scans.

The researchers suggested that stress over holding religious beliefs that fall outside of the mainstream may help explain the findings.

"One interpretation of our finding -- that members of majority religious groups seem to have less atrophy compared with minority religious groups -- is that when you feel your beliefs and values are somewhat at odds with those of society as a whole, it may contribute to long-term stress that could have implications for the brain," Amy Owen, lead author of the study and a research associate at Duke University Medical Center, said in a Duke news release.

The study authors also suggested that life-changing religious experiences could challenge a person's established religious beliefs, triggering stress.

"Other studies have led us to think that whether a new experience you consider spiritual is interpreted as comforting or stressful may depend on whether or not it fits in with your existing religious beliefs and those of the people around you," David Hayward, research associate at Duke University Medical Center, added. "Especially for older adults, these unexpected new experiences may lead to doubts about long-held religious beliefs, or to disagreements with friends and family."

The researchers noted other factors related to hippocampal atrophy, such as age, depression or brain size, as well as other religious factors such as prayer or meditation, could not explain the study's findings.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides details on brain atrophy.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Duke University, news release, May 19, 2011


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. What do policymakers know about the factors influencing peoples well-being?
2. Biting back: Research could lead to mosquitoes being susceptible to diseases they transmit
3. Teen Boys With Autism at Risk of Being Bullied: Study
4. Being Housebound Linked to Alzheimers in Elderly
5. Effective pain management crucial to older adults well-being
6. Measles not being reported
7. Being in a good mood may lead to poor memory
8. DU researchers find that headway being made fighting communicable diseases globally
9. Report into well-being and inclusion of former politically motivated prisoners
10. 1 in 5 Patients at California ERs Leaves Without Being Seen
11. Maybe Scrooge Couldnt Help Being Hard-Hearted
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study
(Date:5/30/2016)... Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) , ... May 30, 2016 ... ... camp on June 6th, while Shaolin warrior 8-day-8 and 8-night special intensive summer ... , Shaolin Institute annual overnight summer camp offers families and children a fun ...
(Date:5/29/2016)... ... May 29, 2016 , ... Whole Health Supply is happy to announce ... been available via Amazon.com. This new style of nail clipper has a wider jaw ... is approximately 4mm and the actual handle is 2.5mm thick to accommodate the cutting ...
(Date:5/29/2016)... ... May 29, 2016 , ... "With 30 unique self-animating web ... control the style of their project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film ... intros created exclusively for use in Final Cut Pro X. Pixel Film Studios’ minimalistic ...
(Date:5/28/2016)... ... May 28, 2016 , ... "Color Grading media can ... drop a preset onto their media," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film ... can quickly and easily add stylish color grades to their footage. A LUT is ...
(Date:5/28/2016)... , ... May 28, 2016 , ... After a year and a half of planning ... an extraordinary event. The Multiple Pathways of Recovery Conference was held May 2 -4, ... country and the United Kingdom came together to explore the many pathways individuals use to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 2016  Diana Russell suffers from a form of ... inside out.  This disease has put her in a ... and grandchildren to leave her home.  Because of the ... haul the wheelchair.  So if there is a family ... is left to wait for the bus. ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Mass. , May 24, 2016  NxStage Medical, ... technology company focused on advancing renal care, today announced ... plans to participate in the following schedule of investor ... be made available at http://ir.nxstage.com/ . ... Jefferies Healthcare Conference NY, NY           Friday, June ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016  Joe Marziani has joined VMS BioMarketing as senior vice ... officer, today. In his new role, Marziani will lead the company,s business development and ... to improve outcomes. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160523/371089 ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: