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Heart Coherence Training: Can Alzheimer’s Disease Be Prevented – A Promising Study

Boulder Creek,  CA, July 10, 2023 – Heart coherence training, first pioneered by the California research organization, the HeartMath Institute, may help safeguard millions of individuals from the disease and potentially slow disease progression as reported in a new study published in both Nature Scientific Reports on March 9, 2023 and in The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association on June 16, 2023.

More than 6 million people are living with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), according to the Alzheimer Association’s recent report. As the disease slowly strips away the minds of people we love, this extremely difficult battle may ease with new research that revealed a promising intervention that may help prevent or slow the progression of early-stage AD.

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the accumulation and aggregation of Aβ plaques and tau tangles in the brain. The recent study explored whether high-amplitude heart rate oscillations induced by slow-paced breathing could reduce the levels of Aβ and tau, thus reducing the risk of AD.

Dr. Mara Mather, the principal investigator of the recent study, utilized the emWave® Pro software and sensor to train participants in slow-paced breathing at a specific frequency measured by the technology. The technology was developed by HeartMath, renowned worldwide as a leading authority on Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and heart-brain coherence. Through years of extensive research and testing, the emWave Pro utilizes HRV coherence biofeedback to assess the level of heart-brain coherence in individuals.

Participants were divided into two groups: one practiced slow-paced breathing at the cardiovascular resonant frequency of 0.1 HZ (also called the coherence frequency) to increase heart rate oscillations (Osc+), while the other group used individualized strategies to reduce heart rate oscillations (Osc-). The software and sensor provided real-time HRV feedback enabling participants to optimize their breathing technique.

Rollin McCraty, director of research at the HeartMath Institute, said, “The findings of this study are remarkable and very hopeful. We’re grateful that Dr. Mather conducted this research, and we hope to see more work in this area. This study demonstrates a significant link between increased heart coherence and biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and this is certainly a picture that is worthy of further investigation.”

Dr. Mather commented on the study, saying, “Our research indicates that slow-paced breathing exercises combined with HRV biofeedback training decreases plasma levels of Aβ. In healthy adults, higher plasma Aβ levels are associated with higher risk of AD as well as cardiovascular death.”

A previous study titled “Precision Medicine Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease: Successful Pilot Project,” utilized HeartMath’s mobile HRV coherence feedback technology called the Inner Balance for the study participant’s coherence training to manage stress as part of their intervention for Alzheimer’s Disease. This study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2022, also reported promising results, demonstrating a reduction in Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms.  A larger study is in process.

Deborah Rozman, President of HeartMath Inc. who manufactures the emWave Pro and Inner Balance technologies, expressed great optimism about these two notable studies, highlighting their potential to provide behavioral, non-pharmaceutical approaches in the battle against Alzheimer’s Disease. “We’re very hopeful that we’ll see additional studies further validating that the practice of HRV coherence may hold significant promise in the prevention of this debilitating condition,” she said. 

While the HeartMath tech is currently available through their websites and distributors around the world, Rozman said that HeartMath has plans already underway that will make the HRV coherence feedback technology and training even more accessible. 

HeartMath works with over 25,000 health professionals who assist patients and clients in stress management, anxiety reduction, and self-regulation. These health professionals actively support the integration of HeartMath techniques and HRV coherence technology in numerous clinical settings. 

Over the span of the last three decades, the HeartMath organizations have made substantial contributions to the field of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and heart-brain coherence. Their dedicated efforts have yielded a wealth of research, which now encompasses over 500 independent peer-reviewed studies.


About HeartMath:

Today, the HeartMath® family encompasses both HeartMath Inc., and the nonprofit HeartMath Institute, and a thriving community of over 25,000 health professionals and 8,000 certified HeartMath trainers and coaches. These organizations have garnered global recognition as leading authorities in Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and heart-brain coherence. HeartMath’s extensive research spanning numerous years has yielded scientifically validated techniques, technologies, and certification programs, guiding individuals towards enhanced self-empowerment over their health and overall well-being. HeartMath has garnered widespread acclaim, benefiting hundreds of thousands of individuals to self-regulate their emotions and behaviors. 

HeartMath’s research has had a profound impact, evidenced by its inclusion in over 500 peer-reviewed independent studies. These studies emphasize the crucial role HeartMath’s work has played in advancing our understanding of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and its intricate connection to our mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being. The expanding body of research illuminates the inherent value and significance of embracing heart coherence training by utilizing specific coherence breathing techniques and training technologies. Through this approach, individuals can actively enhance their health and elevate the overall quality of their life experiences.