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How Does Praying Regularly Effect the Onset of Alzheimer's Disease?

Updated on April 05, 2016
Faith Reaper profile image

Theresa writes on the topic of health at times to share what she has learned here and there in life. She is a breast cancer survivor.

Alzheimer's brain

File: Alzheimers brain.jpg National Institues of Health 13 October 2011 PD US NIH
File: Alzheimers brain.jpg National Institues of Health 13 October 2011 PD US NIH | Source

Alzheimer's disease progression - brain degeneration

File: Alzheimer's disease progressin- brain degeneration. PNG National Institute of Aging 8 March 2013 CC-PD-Mark / PD US Government
File: Alzheimer's disease progressin- brain degeneration. PNG National Institute of Aging 8 March 2013 CC-PD-Mark / PD US Government | Source

Science Has Proven

Did you know that praying regularly can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other memory problems by 50 percent? It is true.

I heard this the other morning on Faith Radio while on my daily commute to work.

That is great news to me, as I pray continually, and being that my mother has dementia, I was just assuming that at some point I will too, but hey, this does not have to be the case.

Now, praying casually for just a few minutes (according to joint Israeli-American studies) a day has no significant impact on the frontal lobe. So, to get the good results, one needs to pray for a specific minimum number of minutes per day – or longer, i.e., more than five minutes, but less than the time it takes to vacuum your house or wash your car.

All I know is that the Bible tells us to pray without ceasing or to pray continually, so that is even better yet, of course.

These findings confirm earlier studies that indicated one’s spirituality can play a positive role. You think?

Remember that old saying, “An apple a day could keep the doctor away?” Well, now, we can say, a prayer a day could keep the doctor away too! How awesome.

It is not relevant whether you pray in public or in private, either way, your stress levels are lowered, which is one of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s.

Praying Girl

Girl  - praying hands CCO Public Domain
Girl - praying hands CCO Public Domain | Source

Get this - in other studies (National Institute of Health), neuroscientists learned from their laboratory tests and controlled double-blind medical studies that, not only can you measure prayer as brain activity, but prayer also has been scientifically proven to help in the following areas:

· Reduce stress and lower your blood pressure . . .

· Boost your resistance to illness and disease . . .

· Neutralize harmful negative emotions . . .

· Enhance your memory and mental function . . .

· Prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease . . .

· Decrease your suffering from pain . . .

· Give you a healthier, longer, and happier life . . .

No one had to tell me this, as I know and have experienced the power of prayer in my life!

What happens when we pray, and what is very comforting for the “patients” of Alzheimer’s, is that it is something that goes into our long term memory many, many years ago.

Prayer and spiritual practices impact the different parts of your brain, and that, in turn, affects your physical and mental health.


Reference: www.haaretz.com; National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C.

Alzheimer's disease - Beta-amyloid plaque formation

File: Alzheimer's disease-Beta-amyloid plaque. PNG  8 March 2013 National Institue of Aging CC-PD-Mark / PD US Government
File: Alzheimer's disease-Beta-amyloid plaque. PNG 8 March 2013 National Institue of Aging CC-PD-Mark / PD US Government | Source


The four major areas of the brain are:

The frontal lobe, the anterior cingulated, the parietal lobe, and the limbic system, which is comprised of several smaller parts.

Each of these areas plays an important role, but two of the four parts are much more important to your health and happiness as you age.

Prayer actually stimulates your frontal lobe, helps keep it healthy, and prevents age-related shrinkage.


Prayer activates your anterior cingulated,

The anterior cingulated part of the brain, is the part of the brain that distinguishes us from animals, it is our “neurological heart.”

Prayer activates your anterior cingulated, which helps you to feel compassion for others and a loving connection to God, or all life.

Source

Holmes and Evil


Hey, so prayer is really and truly the answer to all this evil in this world.


If everyone on the planet prayed, it would be a more compassionate and loving world, as our brains are changed just by praying.


Even in the case of Holmes, if he prayed, it could have possibly actually changed his brain from being sick and evil to compassionate and loving!

Wow, that is amazing to think about.


The Parietal Lobes

Source


Who hates pain?

I know I do!

Well, guess what, prayer reduces activity in the parietal lobes, which causes you to have less awareness of yourself and more awareness of others.

So prayer actually strengthens your brain, how powerful!


The limbic system, which is the real troublemaker – where negative emotions are produced, such as anger, fear, and resentment, as well as anxiety, depression, and pessimism.

Back in the day, some of these emotions were necessary for the “fight or flight” response our ancestors needed to survive. But they have way less value today, in modern society, especially when you are mature and living a stable life.

Under such circumstances, negative emotions will unnecessarily cause physical and emotional harm. So, how can we reduce these harmful negative emotions? Guess what? Prayer turns off your limbic system!


Reference: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source
Source

Praying Increases Your Capacity to Forgive


One of the coolest things, also shown in two studies, that praying for a person increases your capacity for forgiveness. And in a third study, it was shown that forgiveness was associated with better overall health and satisfaction with life.

Boy, do I know this to be a fact in my own personal life!!!

All of this is now being said by science, how great.

These scientific studies were funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C.

Of course, I did not have to have any scientist tell me one thing about the power of prayer, as I have no doubt whatsoever it works.

“. . . The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16 NIV)

Righteous just means that one is right with God, i.e., you have repented of your sins, so there is no barrier between you and God to block that two-way communication!!!

Join with me to continue to pray daily, and to increase our daily praying, for ourselves, others and the whole world, and then let us rejoice in the power of prayer for a renewed abundant life that Jesus said he came to give the whole world!

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    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Hi Faith, this is a wonderful hub on prayer and healing. I'm writing a hub on prayer myself in conjunction with the current Weekly Topic Inspiration. I would really like to post a link to your very significant hub.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Faith this is amazing and wonderful news. thank you so much for sharing let me share this with other Christians on Facebook on the prayer request page. God Bless you my friend

      Debbie

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Debbie - thank you so much for the great comments. I believe in the power of prayer, as I have seen its power! I would love for you to share it with other Christians on Facebook. Thank you so much for sharing and reading. God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 4 years ago

      Wonderful hub. I so believe in the power of prayer. I have seen it work in my own life many times. Thank you.

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Marlene - thank you so much for the great comments. I look forward to reading your hub! That would be great to post a link. Thank you so much. I very much believe in the power of prayer, never had a doubt. I did not even realize about the current Weekly Topic Inspiration. Well, there is much inspiration in the topic of prayer, that is for sure. God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Sunnie Day - love your profile name!!! I, too, do so believe in the power of prayer and have seen it work numerous times, well, every time in my life, miracles!!! Thanks for the great comment and stopping to read. God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Very well written and useful hub, in this context here i would add that regular praying from the core of heart is good in every moment of life, Good people even know every thing about future and even about their death, God bless you, great share, God bless.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Loved this and I do agree and I think prayer increases our faith which is so important to make it through each and every day.

      You always get my votes.

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      girishpuri - thanks for so much for reading and leaving great comments. Oh, yes, praying is good in every moment of life! God bless you too. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Jackie - thank you so much for reading and the lovely comments. Yes, faith in our Lord will get one through any day!!! And thanks for the encouragement. God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Faith, writing this hub is wonderful. Pray does work and it is true that scientists have studied it and said that it does work, but they do not know 'truly know why' Yes changes take place in the brain. But, in reality it is God.

      God bless you.

      Your sister in Christ Michele

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Faith great well written hub and it always a great idea to pray often and daily. Such a great read !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      While I'm pleased they have the studies to prove this theory I've never doubted the power of prayer. Voted up.

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Michele - Thank you for your insightful comments as always. It is that two-way communication between us and our maker, and He hears and heals. It is just awesome to think that praying in general, not to heal Alzheimer's, but just praying in one's daily life, staves off the disease of Alzheimer's. I mean, you can be praying about whatever, and it will have a positive effect on the health of your whole body and life. God is good! God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Kashmir - thank you so much for always leaving encouraging comments. Prayer is the answer to all of life's problems. Amen. God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Amen Diana Lee! I, too, have NEVER doubted the power of prayer, as I have faith in my Lord Jesus Christ, who has healed me of breast cancer just last year, after I prayed and others prayed!!! Of course, He has answered all of my prayers and I have many "boasting in the Lord" stories that I love to tell of how He has work in my life to glorify Him. What is awesome, is that praying in general, can actually change for the good, one's brain and to stave off getting the disease of Alzheimer's. Not saying, that praying for the healing of Alzheimer, but just your everyday praying has a positive effect on the health of your whole body and mind. Thanks for stopping to read and I appreciate the comments. God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 4 years ago from West Virginia

      Faith, voting this up and all across but funny! You know, I am proud of you and your faith:) Good for you. It really is inspirational and I am thankful that you are sharing the goodness of God. Prayer is powerful and it works! Every prayer that I needed came true. Power of God! I have been blessed and I should be way more thankful then I am. By all means, I am no Christian, but I try to do right. One day, I will be ready. Loved this article Faith. Sharing this on twitter.

      My mom's dad and mom had this terrible disease. Sadly, they both had it at the same time. Very very sad. I felt so bad for mom, I know it was so hard on her. When it comes to prayer and sickness, God can heal! To anyone that reads this, God has the power to heal. No illness, cancer, or disease is too big for God. Faith, God Bless you. This is powerful!

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      thelyricwriter - Wow, I am so humbled by your lovely comments. Thank you so much for sharing on twitter. My mother has dementia and my aunt died with Alzheimer's. It is so very hard, and I know how difficult it must have been to watch both of your parents suffer with this disease; its like they just disapper before your very eyes (the persons you knew them to be). He is waiting for you and He loves you and He will always be in pursuit of you dear one. You are more precious than any rare gem on this planet to Him. He knows everything about you. He loved you before He knit you in your mother's womb. Prayer is powerful, and I know, as I asked Him to heal me of breast cancer last year, and He did. Many others were praying too, and it was His will to do so. It would have been fine either way with me, as I believe absent the body, present with Jesus. Thank you for the awesome comments. God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Wonderful post, Faith! I love your statement, "Remember that old saying, “An apple a day could keep the doctor away?” Well, now, we can say, a prayer a day could keep the doctor away too!", it's true. I can't help but also believe that if the Batman Movie killer had prayed and believed, his life would have been different. Prayer is a weapon that can cut through the turmoils of life and make things happen for good. Voted up and shared.

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      teaches - Yes, prayer is exactly that - a weapon that can cut through the turmoils of life and make things happen for good. I, too, believe that if Holmes had a prayer life, his brain would have changed, from evil to commpassionate, as the study states how prayer affects the brain. Prayer is powerful in all aspects and in every way, as it is God who heals us through prayer. Thank you so much for the great comments. God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • profile image

      gottabegod 4 years ago

      I love this!! Of course, I know that prayer has so many positive aspects for our lives, I'm a poster child for 'prayer works'!! But it's so amazing to see the scientific proof!!! You've done a great job with this hub!! Thumbs up & away, girl!

      God bless!

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      gottabegod - I know you know the power of prayer and the positive effects of it on our lives for sure. As you state, that is what I am amazed about is that we do not have to pray for healing of the disease, but that praying in general has such power to actually change our brains for the better. Thank you so much for the wonderful comments. I appreciate you and love you. God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and interesting. Thanks you so much for sharing this Faith. I always knew that prayer had a positive effect but this is awesome. I knew that someday science would have to acknowledge that there is more to this world than what is in those test tubes. This is inspirational. God bless and passing this on.

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Gypsy Rose - Amen for sure on those test tubes! Thanks so much for the great comments to glorify our God. Yes, what else could science do, but acknowledge such. I pray all the time, and it just changes my whole day and outlook, and I am no longer that worrisome person who cannot sleep, as I cast everything to the Lord. God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Faith Reaper...I am writing a hub about the brain and would like to mention this hub in it. Is that okay with you?

      I do sooooo believe in the miraculous healing powers of prayer. So glad that you shared this. Your friend in Christ.

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      pstraubie - you go right ahead a mention whatever you want to mention is fine with me! Thank you so much for stopping by to read and leave wonderful comments to glorify our Lord. God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • profile image

      chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

      Wow, that was awesome! Do you still have the links to those studies lying around? I'd sure love to read up on this some more. There's alzheimer's and dymentia on both sides of my family, and I've always had problems with attention and memory...which have been increasing rapidly the past couple of years. I'm pretty sure that Alzheimer's is in my future and in fact - my present. I want to hold it off for as long as possible, that's for sure.

      Anyway, thanks for such an awesome hub. You got my votes! And I will definitely share on Facebook right now, too! Aloha!

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hello chrisinhawaii - Yes, this subject is near and dear to my heart as well, as my mother suffers from dementia and one of my aunts had Alzheimers. They have the smart pill now too, to help slow down the onset of Alzheimer's if you are diagnosed early with it. I am sure you can google it, and I read so many resources in one day about praying and then came across some to do with praying helping to stave off Alzheimers. Thanks so much for stopping by to read and comment. I hope this day is just another one of many typically beautiful days in Hawaii. God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Faith LOVE your new profile! Voted up, useful and interesting! WOW, what great news. I don't know if you have ever read James Allen's book, "As A Man Thinketh"...tremendous regarding our thought lives. I highly recommend it!

      Oh, what would we do without prayer! I SO believe in the power of prayer...I just purchased two books, "The Prayer Circle" and "Pray Big!" Your research on the brain is so useful and incredible.

      Thank you for this excellent information...a great encouragement regarding the topic of dementia and Alzheimers. I do not believe you will get either. God has you in His wings and He uses you in a powerful way to minister His Spirit through you...to others. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Sparklea,

      Always so wonderful to see your beautiful smiling face pop in for a visit, especially when you leave such wonderful comments that add to the subject of the hub.

      Those books you referenced sound awesome, and I will surely check them out. Thank you for the recommendation. I love reading about prayer, as I know how powerful it is to heal in all areas of our lives.

      LOL on the new profile - you are too kind dear. I am just switching things up a bit, as I see others do from time to time. God bless you.

      Praying for you dear Sister.

      In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • LA Elsen profile image

      LA Elsen 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Hi Faith. This is such an interesting hub to me. I used prayer, not Lamaze during my two natural deliveries. I always look forward to reading your hubs.

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hello LA Elsen,

      I am so glad for your visit here this day. That is so amazing you used prayer during your two natural deliveries. I had my first child, my daughter, natural, but then when my son came along, there were little difficulties. I appreciate your lovely comments and you sharing this with me here today. Thank you for you visit and please stop by again.

      God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • profile image

      Valleypoet 4 years ago

      An interesting read, bringing together two subjects that don't always sit comfortably together, namely faith and science. Ultimately I guess it will be science that will eventually find a cure for Alzheimer's, but to get there we have to have faith! :-))

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hello Valleypoet,

      I am so glad for your visit here this day! I appreciate your great comments to add to the subject of this hub. To me, just the fact of praying, in and of itself, helps to stave off Alzheimer's is amazing, but I already know of the power of prayer, as I do have that faith, as you say.

      I appreciate you. God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Faith healing like prayer, meditation works wonderfully in almost all kinds of disease, mental and physical. My father suffered from severe depression, but when he turned to praying, he did not need drugs to remain painless.

    • Faith Reaper profile image
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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Vinaya,

      Thanks so much for the visit here. Yes, I believe in the power of prayer no doubt! Praise God about your father! I know that I used to have a terrible time with insomnia and had to take something just to fall asleep as my mind would replay the whole day over and over. Then once my relationship deepened with my Lord God, and I began to pray and just lift it all up to Him, that peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding just rains down on me, no matter what is going on in my life, as I know I can trust in Him and He is in control.

      I appreciate the awesome comment, which adds greatly to this hub.

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      Prayer is such a wonderful gift to us and I continue to learn more of God's purposes in it as I continue this earthly journey. Thank you for sharing this info and your insights on the points. If you haven't heard this before

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gHppl_OkGQ

      may you find it to be a special blessing tonight.

    • Faith Reaper profile image
      Author

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi RTalloni,

      This is the third time I have attempted to comment here! Here it goes again.

      Thank you so much for stopping by to read. I truly appreciate your lovely comment, for prayer is such a wonderful gift indeed. Through our prayer life, we are in communication with our sweet Lord God and begin to develop that beautiful and intimate relationship with Him through prayer.

      I love the music video you have shared and it is perfect for the topic of this hub. It has blessed me this night and last night in listening to it. I appreciate you so much for thinking of blessing me.

      You are so kind.

      Peace and blessings to you always

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I have prayed all my life (and still pray every night). I always thank God for giving me another day, and to ask for forgiveness. He has helped me through so many problems in my lifetime.

      This is a very powerful article. Voted UP, etc. and shared.

    • Faith Reaper profile image
      Author

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Dear Mary,

      Yes, praying is very powerful. He has healed me of breast cancer and helped me to know a peace that passes all understanding, His peace.

      Thank you for reading, voting up and sharing.

      God bless you.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Praying is certainly good for many reasons and prayer can truly work wonders. I hope it is true that it has that affect on Alzheimers because as our population ages, there are more and more instances of it.

      I would not conclude however that those who develop Alzheimers or other diseases for that matter did not pray enough. Bad things happen to good people and this temporal life is not intended to last forever. We continue to learn and experience things as we make our way towards eternity.

      Personally, I find that prayer brings comfort and puts things in perspective.

    • Faith Reaper profile image
      Author

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Peggy,

      Yes, I think praying helps the body heal as it comforts us and reduces stress and other illnesses. I know I was healed of breast cancer in 2011.

      I would not conclude that either for bad things do happen to good people every day whether or not they pray.

      I have come to find so much peace in my life no matter what is going on when I pray. His peace just rains down on me. It is something I cannot describe ...a peace that surpasses all understanding.

      Blessings

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 12 months ago from Texas

      Interesting hub, Faith Reaper. That song brings tears to my eyes, as do so many songs and stories about the subject. I did not know this hub of yours existed or I would have read it much, much sooner. Prayer is indeed a powerful thing, though. I do hope you'll consider the email I sent you earlier today. Hugs.

    • Faith Reaper profile image
      Author

      Faith Reaper 12 months ago from southern USA

      Hi Shan,

      Thank you so much for digging this one up. I'm so thrilled that even science is confirming how powerful praying is to even stave off Alzheimer's. I am excited about your project related to this terrible disease.

      Wow, I published this hub three years ago! You may have not been following me way back when.

      I just arrived back home, had to go out to gather more last minute birthday party items for my oldest granddaughter. We are celebrating the gift of Her tomorrow. I can't believe she is eight years old already.

      I just saw your e-mail and I am honored you thought of me. I will e-mail you shortly.

      Hugs

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