The Effect of Deep and Slow Breathing on Retention and Cognitive Function in the Elderly Population

Author: Su-Ha Lee1, Dae-Sung Park2, Chang-Ho Song1
1 Department of Physical Therapy, Sahmyook University College of Health Science, 26-21, Gongneung2-dong, Nowon-gu, Seoul 01795, Republic of Korea.
2 Department of Physical Therapy, Konyang University College of Health Science, 158, Gwanjeodong-ro, Seo-gu, Daejeon 35365, Republic of Korea.
Conference/Journal: Healthcare (Basel)
Date published: 2023 Mar 20
Other: Volume ID: 11 , Issue ID: 6 , Pages: 896 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/healthcare11060896. , Word Count: 237

The purpose of this study was to apply deep and slow breathing to the elderly, who can be classified as potential dementia patients, to confirm changes in the cognitive functions of learning and memory. Forty-five elderly subjects were randomly and evenly divided into a rest group (RG), a before group (BG), and an after group (AG). Measurements of their cognitive abilities were obtained before testing (PT), 30 min after learning (STT), and 24 h after learning (LTT). After PT measurements were obtained from all three groups, the RG and AG conducted new cognitive skills learning, while the BG performed deep and slow breathing (DSB) for 30 min before learning new cognitive skills. After all the three groups underwent 30 min of learning, the STT was performed. Subsequently, the AG performed DSB for 30 min. Finally, 24 h after learning, the LTT was conducted for all three groups. Changes were compared and analyzed by measuring the retention of new cognitive skills and attention, working memory, and spatial perception of cognitive functions. A two-way repeated measure analysis of variance measured the effect of the application of DSB in the three groups. These results demonstrated a significant interaction of time and time*group in all measurements of retention and attention, working memory, and spatial perception. This study confirms the benefit of DSB as part of a dementia prevention training protocol.

Keywords: cognitive function; cognitive skill; deep and slow breathing; geriatric; retention.

PMID: 36981553 PMCID: PMC10047962 DOI: 10.3390/healthcare11060896