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Laughter is the best cure for age-related memory loss, according to a new study.
Stress has a negative impact on health. But more than that, it also makes the body more susceptible to allergies and the brain more at risk to mental illness.
If you forgot where your keys are, laugh it off and try to remember where you left them. Humor can help boost the short-term memory of older adults.
The research was conducted by a research team from California’s Loma Linda University and headed by Dr. Gurinder Singh Bains. There were 20 normal older adults in good health who were asked to watch a funny video for 20 minutes straight without any distraction. On the other hand, a control group was simply asked to sit calmly without any video. A test was performed afterwards and saliva samples were tested for stress hormones.
The study found out that those who laughed for 20 minutes because of the video had better scores during the test. The saliva test also showed that the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, was significantly lower among the laughing group.
This also supports findings from past research that showed how stress can ruin the learning ability and memory among the elderly. This is mainly due to the production of cortisol, which can damage the neurons.
Laughter can counteract the effects of stress, but this study was aimed to discover how it can soften the damage of cortisol on the brain.
According to Dr. Lee Burk, a co-author of the research, their study shows that the less stress an individual is exposed to, the better that individual’s memory is. Being humorous does lower one’s stress levels.
When you laugh, it encourages the release of dopamine and endorphins, which make you feel pleased.
Laughter can create neurochemical reactions in the brain, increasing the gamma wave band frequency. In effect, this boosts an individual’s memory.
The team’s findings can be used in improving the wellness programs designed for the elderly. They can have humor therapies to help them cope with age-related memory loss.
You can learn more about laughter in the links below.