Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Go
Search posts:

Meditation Produces Lasting Changes in Brain Processing

Posted Dec 13 2012 10:09pm
Posted on Dec. 10, 2012, 6 a.m. in Mental Health Alternative Medicine

A number of previous studies have suggested that meditation training improves practitioners' emotional regulation. While neuroimaging studies have found that meditation training appeared to decrease activation of the amygdala -- a structure at the base of the brain that is known to have a role in processing memory and emotion -- those changes were only observed while study participants were meditating.  Gaelle Desbordes, from Massachusetts General Hospital (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues investigated whether meditation training could also produce a generalized reduction in amygdala response to emotional stimuli, even when the practitioner was not meditating.  Participants were enrolled in a larger investigation into the effects of two forms of meditation - mindful meditation and compassionate meditation, based at Emory University (Georgia, USA).  Healthy adults with no experience meditating participated in 8-week courses in either meditative approach; a control group participated in an 8-week health education course. Within three weeks before beginning and three weeks after completing the training, 12 participants from each group were given brain scans, performed as the subjects viewed a series of 216 different images -- 108 per session -- of people in situations with either positive, negative or neutral emotional content. Meditation was not mentioned in pre-imaging instructions to participants, and investigators confirmed afterwards that the volunteers had not meditated while in the scanner. Participants also completed assessments of symptoms of depression and anxiety before and after the training programs.  In the mindful meditation group, the after-training brain scans showed a decrease in activation in the right amygdala in response to all images, supporting the hypothesis that meditation can improve emotional stability and response to stress. In the compassion meditation group, right amygdala activity also decreased in response to positive or neutral images. But among those who reported practicing compassion meditation most frequently outside of the training sessions, right amygdala activity tended to increase in response to negative images -- all of which depicted some form of human suffering. No significant changes were seen in the control group or in the left amygdala of any study participants. The study authors observe that: “these results are consistent with the overarching hypothesis that meditation may result in enduring, beneficial changes in brain function, especially in the area of emotional processing."

Gaelle Desbordes, Lobsang T. Negi, Thaddeus W. W. Pace, B. Alan Wallace, Charles L. Raison, Eric L. Schwartz.  “Effects of mindful-attention and compassion meditation training on amygdala response to emotional stimuli in an ordinary, non-meditative state.”  Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2012; 6 DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00292.

  
Optimal heart health in middle age helps the odds of living up to 14 years longer, free of cardiovascular disease.
Epigallocatechin gallate, an antioxidant compound found abundantly in green tea, helps to reduce blood sugar spikes after starchy meals, in a lab animal model.
Individuals with telomeres in the shortest 10% may be 23% more likely to die in the three years following measurement of these DNA endcaps.
The antibiotic-resistant “superbug” methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is prevalent at several US wastewater treatment plants.
Resveratrol, an antioxidant compound found abundantly in red grape skins and red wine, makes prostate tumor cells more susceptible to radiation treatment.
Increasing consumption of dairy foods helps to prevent hip fractures and reduce healthcare costs.
The degree to which a disease disrupts daily functioning associates with reduced happiness.
Meditation training produces enduring changes in emotional processing that occurs in the brain.
Older people who are living independently but have signs of cerebral damage may lower their risk of having dementia if they remain physically active.
Structural damage to the brain from high blood pressure (hypertension) may occur among people as young as 40.
Economists and public health researchers report that happiness and mental health are highest among people who eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Daily physical activity can boost a person's mental health, via the psychological mechanisms known as the self-image hypothesis and the social interaction hypot
Large-scale population based study suggests that people with anxiety depression, and other mental health problems have a higher risk of early death.
Phobic anxiety associates with shorter telomeres – a marker of a cellular aging, in middle-aged and older women.
Parkinson’s Disease may start with non-motor symptoms affecting physical, mental, and emotional health, that precede the onset of the disease by several years.
Low levels of vitamin B-6 and B-12 are associated with an increased risk of impaired cognition.
Exposure to low doses of BPA during gestation has long-lasting effects on the brain and social behaviors, in a lab animal model.
Older adults who remain physically active experience less psychological distress and fewer functional limitations.
Chronic stress may lead to memory problems by interfering with glutamate signaling in the prefrontal cortex, in a lab animal model.
New insights in to the biological pathway by which yoga may be effective for stress-related medical conditions including depression, anxiety, high blood pressur
Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
#88 - Exercise for a Great Night's Sleep
Physical exercise promotes faster time to sleep and improves progress through the stages of sleep:
– Moderate aerobic exercise three days a week has been found to promote sound sleep.
– Strength training exercise (including weightlifting) prompts the release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), rising levels of which at night coincide with sleep (see Tip 43).
– Exercise strengthens bones and joints, thereby helping to alleviate pain that can be bothersome in falling or staying asleep NOTE: It is best to avoid exercising within the 2-4 hours before bedtime because of the hormone-releasing (and thus possibly stimulating) effect.
 
Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches