BACKGROUND: Religious and spiritual interventions may have an effect on Alzheimer's disease prevention. Kirtan Kriya meditation has been shown to mitigate the deleterious effects of chronic stress on cognition, reverse memory loss, and create psychological and spiritual wellbeing, which may reduce multiple drivers of Alzheimer's disease risk.
OBJECTIVE: To detail a new concept in medicine called Spiritual Fitness, a merging of stress reduction, basic wellbeing, and psycho/spiritual wellbeing to prevent Alzheimer's disease.
METHODS: The literature on the topics mentioned above is described, including an in-depth discussion on why and how each are critical to advancing the future of Alzheimer's disease prevention. The many negative effects of chronic stress, and the benefits of Kirtan Kriya, are reviewed. The four pillars of basic wellbeing, six practical aspects of psychological wellbeing, and the four new non-sectarian features of spiritual fitness are then disclosed. Moreover, instructions on practicing Kirtan Kriya are offered in the Supplementary Material.
CONCLUSION: Religious and spiritual practices, including Kirtan Kriya, are crucial components in the development of enhanced cognition and well-being, which may help prevent and, in some cases, reverse cognitive decline. The key point of this review is that making a commitment to live a brain longevity lifestyle including spiritual fitness is a critically important way for aging Alzheimer's disease free. We hope that this article will inspire scientists, clinicians, and patients to embrace this new concept of spiritual fitness and make it a part of every multidomain program for the prevention of cognitive disability.
Recommended CitationKhalsa, Dharma Singh and Newberg, Andrew B., "Spiritual Fitness: A New Dimension in Alzheimer's Disease Prevention" (2021). Department of Radiology Faculty Papers. Paper 106.
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