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It's Official: Aging Minds Wander

Scientists from my alma mater, University of California at San Francisco, have found and published the physical evidence of aging that correlates with what I hear from my patients. When I inquire about memory, many patients jump right to their wandering mind as their main complaint. Minds wander when we're attempting to concentrate, or in the middle of a task: "I walked into the kitchen and promptly forgot why I was there!" It turns out that as we age, our telomeres everywhere in our body shorten. (Telomeres cap off the ends of our DNA strands and protect them from breaking or fusing with their neighbors.) When brain telomeres shorten, our minds wander. 

What is to be done, you may ask, and happily there is a promising solution: meditation. Previous studies have found that meditation can increase telomerase, which can be helpful for protecting and possibly even restoring damaged telomeres. If meditation sounds daunting, check out my article on Meditation Made Simple, which combines the essential aspects of meditation as studied by science and recommended by teachers of meditation. 

And now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll sit and follow my breath for a few minutes so I can remember what I'm doing with this news story for you!

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