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Cybermedlife - Therapeutic Actions Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation: treating cognitive impairment and reducing stress in dementia.

Abstract Title: Mindfulness and meditation: treating cognitive impairment and reducing stress in dementia. Abstract Source: Rev Neurosci. 2018 Feb 21. Epub 2018 Feb 21. PMID: 29466242 Abstract Author(s): Jesse Russell-Williams, Wafa Jaroudi, Tania Perich, Siobhan Hoscheidt, Mohamad El Haj, Ahmed A Moustafa Article Affiliation: Jesse Russell-Williams Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between mindfulness, meditation, cognition and stress in people with Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia, mild cognitive impairment and subjective cognitive decline. Accordingly, we explore how the use of meditation as a behavioural intervention can reduce stress and enhance cognition, which in turn ameliorates some dementia symptoms. A narrative review of the literature was conducted with any studies using meditation as an intervention for dementia or dementia-related memory conditions meeting inclusion criteria. Studies where moving meditation was the main intervention were excluded due to the possible confounding of exercise. Ten papers were identified and reviewed. There was a broad use of measures across all studies, with cognitive assessment, quality of life and perceived stress being the most common. Three studies used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure functional changes to brain regions during meditation. The interventions fell into the following three categories: mindfulness, most commonly mindfulness-based stress reduction (six studies); Kirtan Kriya meditation (three studies); and mindfulness-based Alzheimer's stimulation (one study). Three of these studies were randomised controlled trials. All studies reported significant findings or trends towards significance in a broad range of measures, including a reduction of cognitive decline, reduction in perceived stress, increase in quality of life, as well as increases in functional connectivity, percent volume brain change and cerebral blood flow in areas of the cortex. Limitations and directions for future studies on meditation-based treatment for AD and stress management are suggested. Article Published Date : Feb 20, 2018

Effect of mindfulness meditation on short-term weight loss and eating behaviors in overweight and obese adults: A randomized controlled trial.

Abstract Title: Effect of mindfulness meditation on short-term weight loss and eating behaviors in overweight and obese adults: A randomized controlled trial. Abstract Source: J Complement Integr Med. 2017 Dec 5. Epub 2017 Dec 5. PMID: 29211681 Abstract Author(s): Kathleen C Spadaro, Kelliann K Davis, Susan M Sereika, Bethany B Gibbs, John M Jakicic, Susan M Cohen Article Affiliation: Kathleen C Spadaro Abstract: Background There is a significant health crisis with rates of obesity continuing to increase despite research and clinical standard behavioral weight loss programs (SBWP). Mindfulness meditation (MM), with demonstrated benefits on physical, psychological health, and self-regulation behaviors was explored with SBWP. Methods Forty-six adults (BMI=32.5±3.7 kg/m2; age=45.2±8.2 years, 87 % female, 21.7 % African American) were randomly assigned to a 6-month SBWP only (n=24) or SBWP+MM (n=22) at a university-based physical activity and weight management research center in a northeastern US city. Participants were instructed to decrease intake (1200-1500 kcal/day), increase physical activity (300 min/wk), and attend weekly SBWP or SBWP+MM sessions. SBWP+MM had the same SBWP lessons with addition of focused MM training. Outcome measures collected at 0, 3, and 6 months included: weight, Block Food Frequency Questionnaire, Eating BehaviorInventory, Eating Inventory and Paffenbarger Physical Activity Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using linear mixed modeling for efficacy analysis of weight (primary) and eating, exercise and mindfulness (secondary outcomes). Results Retention rate was 76.1 % (n=35). A significant group by time interaction (p=0.03) was found for weight, with weight loss favoring SBWP+MM (-6.9 kg+2.9) over SBWP (-4.1 kg+2.8). Eating behaviors (p=0.02) and dietary restraint (p=0.02) improved significantly in SBWP+MM, compared to SBWP. MM enhanced weight loss by 2.8 kg potentially through greater improvements in eating behaviors and dietary restraint. Conclusions These findings support further study into the use of MM strategies with overweight and obese adults. The use of this low-cost, portable strategy with standard behavioral interventions could improve weight management outcomes. Article Published Date : Dec 04, 2017

Mindfulness mediates the physiological markers of stress: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Abstract Title: Mindfulness mediates the physiological markers of stress: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Abstract Source: J Psychiatr Res. 2017 Dec ;95:156-178. Epub 2017 Aug 23. PMID: 28863392 Abstract Author(s): Michaela C Pascoe, David R Thompson, Zoe M Jenkins, Chantal F Ski Article Affiliation: Michaela C Pascoe Abstract: Meditation is a popular form of stress management, argued to mediate stress reactivity. However, many studies in this field commonly fail to include an active control group. Given the frequency with which people are selecting meditation as a form of self-management, it is important to validate if the practice is effective in mediating stress-reactivity using well-controlled studies. Thus, we aimed to conduct a meta-analysis investigating the neurobiological effects of meditation, including focused attention, open monitoring and automatic self-transcending subtypes, compared to an active control, on markers of stress. In the current meta-analysis and systematic review, we included randomised controlled trials comparing meditation interventions compared to an active control on physiological markers of stress. Studied outcomes include cortisol, blood pressure, heart-rate, lipids and peripheral cytokine expression. Forty-five studies were included. All meditation subtypes reduced systolic blood pressure. Focused attention meditations also reduced cortisol and open monitoring meditations also reduced heart rate. When all meditation forms were analysed together, meditation reduced cortisol, C - reactive protein, blood pressure, heart rate, triglycerides and tumour necrosis factor-alpha. Overall, meditation practice leads to decreased physiological markers of stress in a range of populations. Article Published Date : Nov 30, 2017

Epigenetic clock analysis in long-term meditators. 📎

Abstract Title: Epigenetic clock analysis in long-term meditators. Abstract Source: Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2017 Nov ;85:210-214. Epub 2017 Aug 31. PMID: 28889075 Abstract Author(s): Raphaëlle Chaix, Maria Jesús Alvarez-López, Maud Fagny, Laure Lemee, Béatrice Regnault, Richard J Davidson, Antoine Lutz, Perla Kaliman Article Affiliation: Raphaëlle Chaix Abstract: In this paper, we examined whether meditation practice influences the epigenetic clock, a strong and reproducible biomarker of biological aging, which is accelerated by cumulative lifetime stress and with age-related chronic diseases. Using the Illumina 450K array platform, we analyzed the DNA methylome from blood cells of long-term meditators and meditation-naïve controls to estimate their Intrinsic Epigenetic Age Acceleration (IEAA), using Horvath's calculator. IEAA was similar in both groups. However, controls showed a different IEAA trajectory with aging than meditators: older controls (age≥52) had significantly higher IEAAs compared with younger controls (age<52), while meditators were protected from this epigenetic aging effect. Notably, in the meditation group, we found a significant negative correlation between IEAA and the number of years of regular meditation practice. From our results, we hypothesize that the cumulative effects of a regular meditation practice may, in the long-term, help to slow the epigenetic clock and could represent a useful preventive strategy for age-related chronic diseases. Longitudinal randomized controlled trials in larger cohorts are warranted to confirm and further characterize these findings. Article Published Date : Oct 31, 2017

Transcendental meditation for lowering blood pressure: An overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Abstract Title: Transcendental meditation for lowering blood pressure: An overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Abstract Source: Complement Ther Med. 2017 Oct ;34:26-34. Epub 2017 Jul 24. PMID: 28917372 Abstract Author(s): Soo Liang Ooi, Melisa Giovino, Sok Cheon Pak Article Affiliation: Soo Liang Ooi Abstract: BACKGROUND: Transcendental meditation (TM) is a stress reduction technique that can potentially lower blood pressure (BP) safely. The American Heart Association recommends that TM may be considered in clinical practice. OBJECTIVE: To provide an overview of all systematic reviews and meta-analyses of TM on BP for evidence-informed clinical decision making. METHOD: Systematic searches of PubMed, EBSCOhost, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Embase, and PsycINFO for all systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with TM as an intervention, and outcome measures include systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP). Qualitative and quantitative data were synthesized. The methodological quality of the selected reviews was assessed using the AMSTAR checklist. RESULTS: Eight systematic reviews and meta-analyses are included. Among them is an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality report, a Cochrane systematic review, 4 independent reviews, and 2 reviews from a TM related institution. The quality of most of the included reviews is fair with a mean score of 5.75/11 on the AMSTAR scale. Overall, there exists a clear trend of increasing evidence over the years supporting the efficacy of TM in lowering BP. However, some conflicting findings remain across reviews and potential risk of bias exists in many of the RCTs included in these reviews. CONCLUSION: Practising TM may potentially reduce the SBP by∼4mm Hg and DBP by ∼2mm Hg. Such effect is comparable with other lifestyle interventions such as weight-loss diet and exercise. Further evidence from long-term well-designed RCTs conducted by independent researchers is needed. Article Published Date : Sep 30, 2017

Does mindfulness meditation improve chronic pain? A systematic review.

Abstract Title: Does mindfulness meditation improve chronic pain? A systematic review. Abstract Source: Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Sep 28. Epub 2017 Sep 28. PMID: 28961631 Abstract Author(s): Elizabeth F Ball, Emira Nur Shafina Muhammad Sharizan, Genny Franklin, Ewelina Rogozińska Article Affiliation: Elizabeth F Ball Abstract: PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Psychological factors are associated with chronic pain. Mindfulness meditation may ameliorate symptoms. The objective was to evaluate the effects of mindfulness meditation in chronic pain. RECENT FINDINGS: A systematic search of four databases identified 534 citations; 13 Randomised controlled trials satisfied the inclusion criteria. Mindfulness meditation significantly reduced depression [Standardised mean difference (SMD) -0.28; 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.53, -0.03; P = 0.03; I = 0%]. For affective pain (SMD -0.13; 95% CI -0.42, 0.16; I = 0%), sensory pain (SMD -0.02; 95% CI -0.31, 0.27; I = 0%) and anxiety (SMD -0.16; 95% CI -0.47, 0.15; I = 0%) there was a trend towards benefit with intervention. Quality of life items on mental health (SMD0.65; 95% CI -0.27, 1.58; I = 69%), physical health (SMD 0.08; 95% CI -0.40, 0.56; I = 32%) and overall score (SMD 0.86, 95% CI -0.06, 1.78; I = 88%) improved with mindfulness meditation. SUMMARY: Mindfulness meditation has most prominent effect on psychological aspects on living with chronic pain, improving associated depression and quality of life. Article Published Date : Sep 27, 2017

Meditation and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. 📎

Abstract Title: Meditation and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Abstract Source: J Am Heart Assoc. 2017 Sep 28 ;6(10). Epub 2017 Sep 28. PMID: 28963100 Abstract Author(s): Glenn N Levine, Richard A Lange, C Noel Bairey-Merz, Richard J Davidson, Kenneth Jamerson, Puja K Mehta, Erin D Michos, Keith Norris, Indranill Basu Ray, Karen L Saban, Tina Shah, Richard Stein, Sidney C Smith, Article Affiliation: Glenn N Levine Abstract: Despite numerous advances in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Novel and inexpensive interventions that can contribute to the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease are of interest. Numerous studies have reported on the benefits of meditation. Meditation instruction and practice is widely accessible and inexpensive and may thus be a potential attractive cost-effective adjunct to more traditional medical therapies. Accordingly, this American Heart Association scientific statement systematically reviewed the data on the potential benefits of meditation on cardiovascular risk. Neurophysiological and neuroanatomical studies demonstrate that meditation can have long-standing effects on the brain, which provide some biological plausibility for beneficial consequences on the physiological basal state and on cardiovascular risk. Studies of the effects of meditation on cardiovascular risk have included those investigating physiological response to stress, smoking cessation, blood pressure reduction, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, endothelial function, inducible myocardial ischemia, and primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Overall, studies of meditation suggest a possible benefit on cardiovascular risk, although the overall quality and, in some cases, quantity of study data are modest. Given the low costs and low risks of this intervention, meditation may be considered as an adjunct to guideline-directed cardiovascular risk reduction by those interested in this lifestyle modification, with the understanding that the benefits of such intervention remain to be better established. Further research on meditation and cardiovascular risk is warranted. Such studies, to the degree possible, should utilize randomized study design, be adequately powered to meet the primary study outcome, strive to achieve low drop-out rates, include long-term follow-up, and be performed by those without inherent bias in outcome. Article Published Date : Sep 27, 2017

Mindfulness Meditation for Fibromyalgia: Mechanistic and Clinical Considerations. 📎

Abstract Title: Mindfulness Meditation for Fibromyalgia: Mechanistic and Clinical Considerations. Abstract Source: Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2017 Sep ;19(9):59. PMID: 28752493 Abstract Author(s): Adrienne L Adler-Neal, Fadel Zeidan Article Affiliation: Adrienne L Adler-Neal Abstract: PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread pain and a spectrum of psychological comorbidities, rendering treatment difficult and often a financial burden. Fibromyalgia is a complicated chronic pain condition that requires a multimodal therapeutic approach to optimize treatment efficacy. Thus, it has been postulated that mind-body techniques may prove fruitful in treating fibromyalgia. Mindfulness meditation, a behavioral technique premised on non-reactive sensory awareness, attenuates pain and improves mental health outcomes. However, the impact of mindfulness meditation on fibromyalgia-related outcomes has not been comprehensively characterized. The present review delineates the existing evidence supporting the effectiveness and hypothesized mechanisms of mindfulness meditation in treating fibromyalgia-related outcomes. RECENT FINDINGS: Mindfulness-based interventions premised on cultivating acceptance, non-attachment, and social engagement may be most effective in decreasing fibromyalgia-related pain and psychological symptoms. Mindfulness-based therapies may alleviate fibromyalgia-related outcomes through multiple neural, psychological, and physiological processes. Mindfulness meditation may provide an effective complementary treatment approach for fibromyalgia patients, especially when combined with other reliable techniques (exercise; cognitive behavioral therapy). However, characterizing the specific analgesic mechanisms supporting mindfulness meditation is a critical step to fostering the clinical validity of this technique. Identification of the specific analgesic mechanisms supporting mindfulness-based pain relief could be utilized to better design behavioral interventions to specifically target fibromyalgia-related outcomes. Article Published Date : Aug 31, 2017

Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience in combination with meditation and other spiritual practices produces enduring positive changes in psychological functioning and in trait measures of prosocial attitudes and behaviors. 📎

Abstract Title: Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience in combination with meditation and other spiritual practices produces enduring positive changes in psychological functioning and in trait measures of prosocial attitudes and behaviors. Abstract Source: J Psychopharmacol. 2017 Sep 1:269881117731279. Epub 2017 Sep 1. PMID: 29020861 Abstract Author(s): Roland R Griffiths, Matthew W Johnson, William A Richards, Brian D Richards, Robert Jesse, Katherine A MacLean, Frederick S Barrett, Mary P Cosimano, Maggie A Klinedinst Article Affiliation: Roland R Griffiths Abstract: Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences with participant-attributed increases in well-being. However, little research has examined enduring changes in traits. This study administered psilocybin to participants who undertook a program of meditation/spiritual practices. Healthy participants were randomized to three groups (25 each): (1) very low-dose (1 mg/70 kg on sessions 1 and 2) with moderate-level ("standard") support for spiritual-practice (LD-SS); (2) high-dose (20 and 30 mg/70 kg on sessions 1 and 2, respectively) with standard support (HD-SS); and (3) high-dose (20 and 30 mg/70kg on sessions 1 and 2, respectively) with high support for spiritual practice (HD-HS). Psilocybin was administered double-blind and instructions to participants/staff minimized expectancy confounds. Psilocybin was administered 1 and 2 months after spiritual-practice initiation. Outcomes at 6 months included rates of spiritual practice and persisting effects of psilocybin. Compared with low-dose, high-dose psilocybin produced greater acute and persisting effects. At 6 months, compared with LD-SS, both high-dose groups showed large significant positive changes on longitudinal measures of interpersonal closeness, gratitude, life meaning/purpose, forgiveness, death transcendence, daily spiritual experiences, religious faith and coping, and community observer ratings. Determinants of enduring effects were psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience and rates of meditation/spiritual practices. Psilocybin can occasion enduring trait-level increases in prosocial attitudes/behaviors and in healthy psychological functioning. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT00802282. Article Published Date : Aug 31, 2017

Meditation for asthma: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Abstract Title: Meditation for asthma: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Abstract Source: J Asthma. 2017 Aug 30:0. Epub 2017 Aug 30. PMID: 28853958 Abstract Author(s): Priyamvada Paudyal, Christina Jones, Caroline Grindey, Rusha Dawood, Helen Smith Article Affiliation: Priyamvada Paudyal Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To conduct a comprehensive review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of meditation on a variety of asthma outcomes. METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and AMED in June 2016 to identify randomised controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effectiveness of meditation in adults with asthma. No restriction was put on language or year of publication. Study quality was assessed using The Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. Meta-analysis was carried out using RevMan 5.3. RESULTS: Four RCTS involving 201 patients met the inclusion criteria. Quality of studies was inconsistent with only one study reporting adequate allocation concealment. Disease-specific quality of life was assessed in two trials; a pooled result involving 62 intervention and 65 control participants indicated a significant improvement in quality of life in the meditation group compared to the control group (SMD 0.40, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.76). A pooled result from all four studies indicated the uncertain effect of meditation in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) (SMD -0.67, 95% CI -2.17 to 0.82). Results from the individual trials suggest that meditation may be helpful in reducing perceived stress and the use of short-term rescue medication. CONCLUSION: Our review suggests that there is some evidence that meditation is beneficial in improving quality of life in asthma patients. As two out of four studies in our review were of poor quality, further trials with better methodological quality are needed to support or refute this finding. Article Published Date : Aug 29, 2017

The influence of focused-attention meditation states on the cognitive control of sequence learning.

Abstract Title: The influence of focused-attention meditation states on the cognitive control of sequence learning. Abstract Source: Conscious Cogn. 2017 Jul 24 ;55:11-25. Epub 2017 Jul 24. PMID: 28750361 Abstract Author(s): Russell W Chan, Maarten A Immink, Kurt Lushington Article Affiliation: Russell W Chan Abstract: Cognitive control processes influence how motor sequence information is utilised and represented. Since cognitive control processes are shared amongst goal-oriented tasks, motor sequence learning and performance might be influenced by preceding cognitive tasks such as focused-attention meditation (FAM). Prior to a serial reaction time task (SRTT), participants completed either a single-session of FAM, a single-session of FAM followed by delay (FAM+) or no meditation (CONTROL). Relative to CONTROL, FAM benefitted performance in early, random-ordered blocks. However, across subsequent sequence learning blocks, FAM+ supported the highest levels of performance improvement resulting in superior performance at the end of the SRTT. Performance following FAM+ demonstrated greater reliance on embedded sequence structures than FAM. These findings illustrate that increased top-down control immediately after FAM biases the implementation of stimulus-based planning. Introduction of a delay following FAM relaxes top-down control allowing for implementation of response-based planning resulting in sequence learning benefits. Article Published Date : Jul 23, 2017

Effects of gratitude meditation on neural network functional connectivity and brain-heart coupling. 📎

Abstract Title: Effects of gratitude meditation on neural network functional connectivity and brain-heart coupling. Abstract Source: Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 11 ;7(1):5058. Epub 2017 Jul 11. PMID: 28698643 Abstract Author(s): Sunghyon Kyeong, Joohan Kim, Dae Jin Kim, Hesun Erin Kim, Jae-Jin Kim Article Affiliation: Sunghyon Kyeong Abstract: A sense of gratitude is a powerful and positive experience that can promote a happier life, whereas resentment is associated with life dissatisfaction. To explore the effects of gratitude and resentment on mental well-being, we acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging and heart rate (HR) data before, during, and after the gratitude and resentment interventions. Functional connectivity (FC) analysis was conducted to identify the modulatory effects of gratitude on the default mode, emotion, and reward-motivation networks. The average HR was significantly lower during the gratitude intervention than during the resentment intervention. Temporostriatal FC showed a positive correlation with HR during the gratitude intervention, but not during the resentment intervention. Temporostriatal resting-state FC was significantly decreased after the gratitude intervention compared to the resentment intervention. After the gratitude intervention, resting-state FC of the amygdala with the right dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and left dorsal anterior cingulate cortex were positively correlated with anxiety scale and depression scale, respectively. Taken together, our findings shed light on the effect of gratitude meditation on an individual's mental well-being, and indicate that it may be a means of improving both emotion regulation and self-motivation by modulating resting-state FC in emotion and motivation-related brain regions. Article Published Date : Jul 10, 2017

Prevalence and patterns of use of mantra, mindfulness and spiritual meditation among adults in the United States. 📎

Abstract Title: Prevalence and patterns of use of mantra, mindfulness and spiritual meditation among adults in the United States. Abstract Source: BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Jun 15 ;17(1):316. Epub 2017 Jun 15. PMID: 28619092 Abstract Author(s): Adam Burke, Chun Nok Lam, Barbara Stussman, Hui Yang Article Affiliation: Adam Burke Abstract: BACKGROUND: Despite a growing body of scientific literature exploring the nature of meditation there is limited information on the characteristics of individuals who use it. This is particularly true of comparative studies examining prevalence and predictors of use of various forms of meditation. METHODS: A secondary analysis was conducted using data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (n = 34,525). Three popular forms of meditation were compared-mantra, mindfulness, and spiritual-to determine lifetime and 12-month use related to key sociodemographic, health behavior, health status, and healthcare access variables. RESULTS: The 12-month prevalence for meditation practice was 3.1% for spiritual meditation, 1.9% for mindfulness meditation, and 1.6% for mantra meditation. This represents approximately 7.0, 4.3, and 3.6 million adults respectively. A comparison across the three meditation practices found many similarities in user characteristics, suggesting interest in meditation may be more related to the type of person meditating than to the type of practice selected. Across meditation styles use was more prevalent among respondents who were female, non-Hispanic White, college educated, physically active; who used other complementary health practices; and who reported depression. Higher utilization of conventional healthcare services was one of the strongest predictors of use of all three styles. In addition to similarities, important distinctions were observed. For example, spiritual meditation practice was more prevalent among former drinkers. This may reflect use of spiritual meditation practices in support of alcohol treatment and sobriety. Reasons for use of meditation were examined using the sample of respondents who practiced mindfulness meditation. Wellness and prevention (74%) was a more common reason than use to treat a specific health condition (30%). Common reasons for use included stress management (92%) and emotional well-being (91%), and to support other health behaviors. Meditation was viewed positively because it was self-care oriented (81%) and focused on the whole person (79%). CONCLUSION: Meditation appears to provide an accessible, self-care resource that has potential value for mental health, behavioral self-regulation, and integrative medical care. Considering consumer preference for distinct types of meditation practices, understanding the underlying mechanisms, benefits, and applications of practice variations is important. Article Published Date : Jun 14, 2017

Rhythmic brain stimulation reduces anxiety-related behavior in a mouse model based on meditation training. 📎

Abstract Title: Rhythmic brain stimulation reduces anxiety-related behavior in a mouse model based on meditation training. Abstract Source: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Mar 7 ;114(10):2532-2537. Epub 2017 Feb 21. PMID: 28223484 Abstract Author(s): Aldis P Weible, Denise M Piscopo, Mary K Rothbart, Michael I Posner, Cristopher M Niell Article Affiliation: Aldis P Weible Abstract: Meditation training induces changes at both the behavioral and neural levels. A month of meditation training can reduce self-reported anxiety and other dimensions of negative affect. It also can change white matter as measured by diffusion tensor imaging and increase resting-state midline frontal theta activity. The current study tests the hypothesis that imposing rhythms in the mouse anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), by using optogenetics to induce oscillations in activity, can produce behavioral changes. Mice were randomly assigned to groups and were given twenty 30-min sessions of light pulses delivered at 1, 8, or 40 Hz over 4 wk or were assigned to a no-laser control condition. Before and after the month all mice were administered a battery of behavioral tests. In the light/dark box, mice receiving cortical stimulation had more light-side entries, spent more time in the light, and made more vertical rears than mice receiving rhythmic cortical suppression or no manipulation. These effects on light/dark box exploratory behaviors are associated with reduced anxiety and were most pronounced following stimulation at 1 and 8 Hz. No effects were seen related to basic motor behavior or exploration during tests of novel object and location recognition. These data support a relationship between lower-frequency oscillations in the mouse ACC and the expression of anxiety-related behaviors, potentially analogous to effects seen with human practitioners of some forms of meditation. Article Published Date : Mar 06, 2017

Mindfulness and pharmacological prophylaxis have comparable effect on biomarkers of inflammation and clinical indexes in chronic migraine with medication overuse: results at 12 months after withdrawal.

Abstract Title: Mindfulness and pharmacological prophylaxis have comparable effect on biomarkers of inflammation and clinical indexes in chronic migraine with medication overuse: results at 12 months after withdrawal. Abstract Source: Neurol Sci. 2017 May ;38(Suppl 1):173-175. PMID: 28527073 Abstract Author(s): Licia Grazzi, Domenico D'Amico, Alberto Raggi, Matilde Leonardi, Emilio Ciusani, Elena Corsini, Giovanni D'Andrea, Andrea Bolner, Francisco Salgado-García, Frank Andrasik, Emanuela Sansone Article Affiliation: Licia Grazzi Abstract: Chronic migraine (CM) is a disabling condition arising from a complex mixture of interconnected biological, psychological and social factors, and is often associated with medication overuse (MO). Mindfulness is emerging as a helpful treatment for pain, and one study showed that the longitudinal 12 months' course of CM-MO patients that attended mindfulness-based treatment alone was similar to that of patients receiving medical prophylaxis alone; in this study, we describe the course of biomarkers of inflammation. Our results provide initial evidence of sustained similar effects on reduced concentration of biomarkers of inflammation, although not sizeable enough to reach statistical significance. Whether more intensive treatment and/or larger samples would lead to greater changes is unknown, but these encouraging preliminary findings suggest further research is warranted. Article Published Date : Apr 30, 2017
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Therapeutic Actions Meditation

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iRest Meditation for Older Adults with Depression Symptoms: 6-Month and 1-Year Follow-up.

iRest Meditation for Older Adults with Depression Symptoms: 6-Month and 1-Year Follow-up. Int J Yoga Therap. 2019 Jan 21;: Authors: Wahbeh H, Fry N Abstract Preliminary positive evidence supports the use of iRest (Integrative Restoration) in older adults with depression symptoms. No long-term follow-up measures have been reported on whether the preliminary effects continue beyond initial iRest trainings. The growing population of older adults with depression symptoms is a serious public health issue, and effective interventions to support this vulnerable population are warranted. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the depression and depression-related symptoms 6 and 12 months after an iRest intervention. All study measures were collected online. Twenty-five of the original participants completed the 6- and 12-month surveys. Of those, nine stated that they still practiced the guided meditations at the time of the 12-month follow-up (five iRest and four vacation participants). Both groups had improvements in depression scores from baseline (week 0) to the 12-month follow-up. There were no differences between groups on depression symptoms or other measures except for negative mood and perceived stress, which were improved in the vacation group compared to the iRest group. Meditation practice was not a significant predictor of depression score improvement. PMID: 30664388 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

The Age-Well observational study on expert meditators in the Medit-Ageing European project.

Related Articles The Age-Well observational study on expert meditators in the Medit-Ageing European project. Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2018;4:756-764 Authors: Lutz A, Klimecki OM, Collette F, Poisnel G, Arenaza-Urquijo E, Marchant NL, De La Sayette V, Rauchs G, Salmon E, Vuilleumier P, Frison E, Vivien D, Chételat G, Medit-Ageing Research Group Abstract Introduction: The Age-Well observational, cross-sectional study investigates the affective and cognitive mechanisms of meditation expertise with behavioral, neuroimaging, sleep, and biological measures sensitive to aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Methods: Thirty cognitively unimpaired individuals aged 65 years or older with at least 10,000 hours of practice in mindfulness meditation (MM) and loving-kindness and compassion meditation (LKCM) are selected. The outcomes are the neuroimaging brain correlates of MM and LKCM and the assessments of long-term meditation practices on behavioral, neural, and biological measures as compared to nonmeditator older controls from the Age-Well randomized controlled trial. Results: Recruitment and data collection began in late 2016 and will be completed by late 2019. Discussion: Results are expected to foster the understanding of the effects of meditation expertise on aging and of the mechanisms of action underlying the meditation intervention in the Age-Well randomized controlled trial. These finding will contribute to the design of meditation-based prevention randomized controlled trials for the aged population and to the exploration of the possible long-time developmental trajectory of meditation training. PMID: 30662933 [PubMed]

Mindfulness Meditation Is Related to Long-Lasting Changes in Hippocampal Functional Topology during Resting State: A Magnetoencephalography Study.

Related Articles Mindfulness Meditation Is Related to Long-Lasting Changes in Hippocampal Functional Topology during Resting State: A Magnetoencephalography Study. Neural Plast. 2018;2018:5340717 Authors: Lardone A, Liparoti M, Sorrentino P, Rucco R, Jacini F, Polverino A, Minino R, Pesoli M, Baselice F, Sorriso A, Ferraioli G, Sorrentino G, Mandolesi L Abstract It has been suggested that the practice of meditation is associated to neuroplasticity phenomena, reducing age-related brain degeneration and improving cognitive functions. Neuroimaging studies have shown that the brain connectivity changes in meditators. In the present work, we aim to describe the possible long-term effects of meditation on the brain networks. To this aim, we used magnetoencephalography to study functional resting-state brain networks in Vipassana meditators. We observed topological modifications in the brain network in meditators compared to controls. More specifically, in the theta band, the meditators showed statistically significant (p corrected = 0.009) higher degree (a centrality index that represents the number of connections incident upon a given node) in the right hippocampus as compared to controls. Taking into account the role of the hippocampus in memory processes, and in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease, meditation might have a potential role in a panel of preventive strategies. PMID: 30662457 [PubMed - in process]

Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a Yoga-based Cardiac Rehabilitation (Yoga-CaRe) program following acute myocardial infarction: Study rationale and design of a multi-center randomized controlled trial.

Related Articles Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a Yoga-based Cardiac Rehabilitation (Yoga-CaRe) program following acute myocardial infarction: Study rationale and design of a multi-center randomized controlled trial. Int J Cardiol. 2019 Jan 07;: Authors: Chandrasekaran AM, Kinra S, Ajay VS, Chattopadhyay K, Singh K, Singh K, Praveen PA, Soni D, Devarajan R, Kondal D, Manchanda SC, Hughes AD, Chaturvedi N, Roberts I, Pocock S, Ebrahim S, Reddy KS, Tandon N, Prabhakaran D, Yoga-CaRe Trial Team Abstract BACKGROUND: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a standard treatment for secondary prevention of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in high income countries (HICs), but it is inaccessible to most patients in India due to high costs and skills required for multidisciplinary CR teams. We developed a low-cost and scalable CR program based on culturally-acceptable practice of yoga (Yoga-CaRe). In this paper, we report the rationale and design for evaluation of its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. METHODS: This is a multi-center, single-blind, two-arm parallel-group randomized controlled trial across 22 cardiac care hospitals in India. Four thousand patients aged 18-80 years with AMI will be recruited and randomized 1:1 to receive Yoga-CaRe program (13 sessions supervised by an instructor and encouragement to self-practice daily) or enhanced standard care (3 sessions of health education) delivered over a period of three months. Participants will be followed 3-monthly till the end of the trial. The co-primary outcomes are a) time to occurrence of first cardiovascular event (composite of all-cause mortality, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke and emergency cardiovascular hospitalization), and b) quality of life (Euro-QoL-5L) at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes include need for revascularization procedures, return to pre-infarct activities, tobacco cessation, medication adherence, and cost-effectiveness of the intervention. CONCLUSION: This trial will alone contribute >20% participants to existing meta-analyses of randomized trials of CR worldwide. If Yoga-CaRe is found to be effective, it has the potential to save millions of lives and transform care of AMI patients in India and other low and middle income country settings. PMID: 30661847 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Exploring Emptiness and its Effects on Non-Attachment, Mystical Experiences, and Psycho-spiritual Wellbeing: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study of Advanced Meditators.

Related Articles Exploring Emptiness and its Effects on Non-Attachment, Mystical Experiences, and Psycho-spiritual Wellbeing: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study of Advanced Meditators. Explore (NY). 2018 Dec 28;: Authors: Van Gordon W, Shonin E, Dunn TJ, Sapthiang S, Kotera Y, Garcia-Campayo J, Sheffield D Abstract Wisdom-based Buddhist-derived practices (BDPs) are concerned with transmuting suffering by cultivating insight into the ultimate nature of both the self and reality. Arguably the most important wisdom-based BDP is emptiness (Sanskrit: śūnyatā) that implies that although phenomena are perceptible to the human mind, they do not intrinsically exist. Despite its significance in Buddhism, emptiness has received little empirical attention. Advancing scientific understanding of emptiness is important as it may yield novel insights not only into the nature of mind and reality, but also in terms of helping human beings realise more of their capacity for wisdom and wellbeing. This study recruited 25 advanced Buddhist meditators and compared emptiness meditation against a mindfulness meditation control condition within the same group of participants. Qualitative analytical techniques were also employed to investigate meditators' experiences of emptiness. Compared to the mindfulness control condition, emptiness meditation resulted in significantly greater improvements in non-attachment to self and environment, mystical experiences, compassion, positive affect, and negative affect. No significant relationship was observed between duration of emptiness meditation and any of the aforementioned outcome measures. Qualitative outcomes demonstrated that participants (i) combined concentrative and investigative meditation techniques to induce emptiness, (ii) elicited spiritually meaningful insights both during and following the meditation on emptiness, and (iii) retained volitional control over the content and duration of the emptiness meditation. Cultivating emptiness appears to be a means of reconnecting advanced Buddhist meditators to what they deem to be the innermost nature of their minds and phenomena. PMID: 30660506 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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