A new Israeli-American study has found that women can halve the risk of developing Alzheimers disease by praying regularly.
The research was conducted among 600 residents over the age of 65 in the Arab community of Wadi Ara in northern Israel. It could not determine whether prayer cuts the risk of developing Alzheimers disease among men — because 90 per cent of the male subjects prayed daily.
“But among the women, only 60 per cent of the women prayed five times a day, as per Islamic custom, but 40 per cent didn’t pray regularly, so we were able to compare the data,” explained lead researcher Professor Rivka Inzelberg of Tel Aviv University.
“Prayer is a custom in which thought is invested, and the intellectual activity involved in prayer, beyond the content of the prayers, may constitute a protective factor against Alzheimers,” she said.
The research showing that prayer cuts the risk of developing Alzheimers disease in women was carried out by the Technion Israel’s Institute of Science and Technology, in co-operation with researchers from Boston University and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. It was funded by the United States National Institutes of Health.
Inzelberg said similar research carried out by American colleagues discovered that watching television and other passive activity is likely to increase the risk of contracting Alzheimers disease.
“The brain is an organ like any other organ which ages in regard to how it’s used. So learning is important for the brain . . . . “The brain has been honed by evolutionary forces to be active, and learning is an important part of life. When you watch TV, you can be in a semi-conscious state where you really are not doing any learning.”
News category: World.