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:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in the ... facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab participated ... Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is proud to host ... items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds and awareness for ... The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids ... Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, ... run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor ... on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning ... innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of ... Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of ... taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/13/2017)... OrthoAtlanta has been named the official orthopedic and sports ... the 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship to be ... Atlanta, Georgia . OrthoAtlanta is proud to ... in many activities leading up to, and including the national ... OrthoAtlanta ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... -- Consumer reviews on the independent review site Consumer Affairs ... for hearing aids, ranking it higher than Miracle Ear ™, ... ... Hearing Aids ... store that provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German-engineered hearing aids directly to ...
(Date:9/9/2017)... 8, 2017 ... Unit coming to Washington DC ... When: Tuesday, September 12 th – Monday, September 18 th .The ... free MRI brain scans to the public.Where:  BTF,s ... at 501 K Street NW, Washington, D.C.What:BTF brings its nationwide initiative, the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: