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Evidence that the Transcendental Meditation program prevents or decreases diseases of the nervous system and is specifically beneficial for epilepsy.

Orme-Johnson D.

191 Dalton Dr. Seagrove Beach, FL 32459, USA. davidoj@gnt.net

Although meditation has been practiced worldwide for centuries, there are no reports that it causes epilepsy or increases the predisposition to it. Medical care utilization statistics and clinical studies indicate that individuals who regularly practice the Transcendental Meditation technique have fewer problems of the nervous system and specifically show decreased symptoms of epilepsy. The frequency, amplitude, areas of activation, and effects of the EEG during the Transcendental Meditation technique are completely different from those of epilepsy. There is no evidence that the Transcendental Meditation technique increases glutamate, which has been associated with epilepsy. With regard to serotonin, the relationship of serotonin to epilepsy has to be viewed in the context of the abnormal brain tissue that causes epilepsy. The serotonin increases that may occur through meditation have been associated with only beneficial effects.

PMID: 16723189 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Lansky EP, St Louis EK.

Iowa Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, USA. drlansky@netvision.net.il

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is derived from ancient yogic teachings. Both short- and long-term physiological correlates of TM practice have been studied. EEG effects include increased alpha, theta, and gamma frequencies and increased coherence and synchrony. Neuronal hypersynchrony is also a cardinal feature of epilepsy, and subjective psychic symptoms, apnea, and myoclonic jerking are characteristic of both epileptic seizures and meditative states. Clinical vignettes have highlighted the potential risk of human kindling from repetitive meditation in persons practicing TM, but clinical studies of similar techniques suggest that meditation may also be a potential antiepileptic therapy. Future clinical studies of meditating subjects using video/EEG monitoring are warranted to determine whether behavioral phenomena have an underlying epileptic basis, and prospective clinical trials of TM in subjects with well-delineated epilepsy syndromes are necessary to establish the safety of this technique and its potential efficacy for seizure reduction and improvement of quality of life.

PMID: 16931164 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Lazar SW, Kerr CE, Wasserman RH, Gray JR, Greve DN, Treadway MT, McGarvey M, Quinn BT, Dusek JA, Benson H, Rauch SL, Moore CI, Fischl B.

Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. lazar@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu

Previous research indicates that long-term meditation practice is associated with altered resting electroencephalogram patterns, suggestive of long lasting changes in brain activity. We hypothesized that meditation practice might also be associated with changes in the brain’s physical structure. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess cortical thickness in 20 participants with extensive Insight meditation experience, which involves focused attention to internal experiences. Brain regions associated with attention, interoception and sensory processing were thicker in meditation participants than matched controls, including the prefrontal cortex and right anterior insula. Between-group differences in prefrontal cortical thickness were most pronounced in older participants, suggesting that meditation might offset age-related cortical thinning. Finally, the thickness of two regions correlated with meditation experience. These data provide the first structural evidence for experience-dependent cortical plasticity associated with meditation practice.

PMID: 16272874 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

PMCID: PMC1361002

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Tactus verslavingszorg Afsluiting EBAM cursus 2007/2008, download hier (PDF)

Door: Madari ERP

Traditional medicine-inspired approaches to drug discovery: can Ayurveda show the way forward?

Pdf Download here

Bhushan Patwardhan and Raghunath Anant Mashelkar

1 Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Pune, Pune 411 007, India

2 National Chemical Laboratory, Pune 411 008, India

Evidence Report/Technology Assessment

Number 155, download here

Meditation Practices for Health: State of the Research

Maharishi Ayurveda Wetenschappelijk onderzoek

Maharishi Ayurveda Wetenschappelijk onderzoek tot op heden.
Lees verder klik hier (pdf)

Comment in: Med Hypotheses. 2007;68(4):916-7.
Evidence that the Transcendental Meditation program prevents or decreases diseases of the nervous system and is specifically beneficial for epilepsy.

Orme-Johnson D.

191 Dalton Dr. Seagrove Beach, FL 32459, USA. davidoj@gnt.net

Although meditation has been practiced worldwide for centuries, there are no reports that it causes epilepsy or increases the predisposition to it. Medical care utilization statistics and clinical studies indicate that individuals who regularly practice the Transcendental Meditation technique have fewer problems of the nervous system and specifically show decreased symptoms of epilepsy. The frequency, amplitude, areas of activation, and effects of the EEG during the Transcendental Meditation technique are completely different from those of epilepsy. There is no evidence that the Transcendental Meditation technique increases glutamate, which has been associated with epilepsy. With regard to serotonin, the relationship of serotonin to epilepsy has to be viewed in the context of the abnormal brain tissue that causes epilepsy. The serotonin increases that may occur through meditation have been associated with only beneficial effects.

PMID: 16723189 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Transcendental meditation: a double-edged sword in epilepsy?

Lansky EP, St Louis EK.

Iowa Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, USA. drlansky@netvision.net.il

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is derived from ancient yogic teachings. Both short- and long-term physiological correlates of TM practice have been studied. EEG effects include increased alpha, theta, and gamma frequencies and increased coherence and synchrony. Neuronal hypersynchrony is also a cardinal feature of epilepsy, and subjective psychic symptoms, apnea, and myoclonic jerking are characteristic of both epileptic seizures and meditative states. Clinical vignettes have highlighted the potential risk of human kindling from repetitive meditation in persons practicing TM, but clinical studies of similar techniques suggest that meditation may also be a potential antiepileptic therapy. Future clinical studies of meditating subjects using video/EEG monitoring are warranted to determine whether behavioral phenomena have an underlying epileptic basis, and prospective clinical trials of TM in subjects with well-delineated epilepsy syndromes are necessary to establish the safety of this technique and its potential efficacy for seizure reduction and improvement of quality of life.

PMID: 16931164 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness.

Lazar SW, Kerr CE, Wasserman RH, Gray JR, Greve DN, Treadway MT, McGarvey M, Quinn BT, Dusek JA, Benson H, Rauch SL, Moore CI, Fischl B.

Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. lazar@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu

Previous research indicates that long-term meditation practice is associated with altered resting electroencephalogram patterns, suggestive of long lasting changes in brain activity. We hypothesized that meditation practice might also be associated with changes in the brain’s physical structure. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess cortical thickness in 20 participants with extensive Insight meditation experience, which involves focused attention to internal experiences. Brain regions associated with attention, interoception and sensory processing were thicker in meditation participants than matched controls, including the prefrontal cortex and right anterior insula. Between-group differences in prefrontal cortical thickness were most pronounced in older participants, suggesting that meditation might offset age-related cortical thinning. Finally, the thickness of two regions correlated with meditation experience. These data provide the first structural evidence for experience-dependent cortical plasticity associated with meditation practice.

PMID: 16272874 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

PMCID: PMC1361002

Long-term meditation is associated with increased gray matter density in the brain stem.

Vestergaard-Poulsen P, van Beek M, Skewes J, Bjarkam CR, Stubberup M, Bertelsen J, Roepstorff A.

Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark. peterv@pet.auh.dk

Extensive practice involving sustained attention can lead to changes in brain structure. Here, we report evidence of structural differences in the lower brainstem of participants engaged in the long-term practice of meditation. Using magnetic resonance imaging, we observed higher gray matter density in lower brain stem regions of experienced meditators compared with age-matched nonmeditators. Our findings show that long-term practitioners of meditation have structural differences in brainstem regions concerned with cardiorespiratory control. This could account for some of the cardiorespiratory parasympathetic effects and traits, as well as the cognitive, emotional, and immunoreactive impact reported in several studies of different meditation practices.

PMID: 19104459 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Cahn BR, Polich J.

Department of Neurosciences and Medical School, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.

Neuroelectric and imaging studies of meditation are reviewed. Electroencephalographic measures indicate an overall slowing subsequent to meditation, with theta and alpha activation related to proficiency of practice. Sensory evoked potential assessment of concentrative meditation yields amplitude and latency changes for some components and practices. Cognitive event-related potential evaluation of meditation implies that practice changes attentional allocation. Neuroimaging studies indicate increased regional cerebral blood flow measures during meditation. Taken together, meditation appears to reflect changes in anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal areas. Neurophysiological meditative state and trait effects are variable but are beginning to demonstrate consistent outcomes for research and clinical applications. Psychological and clinical effects of meditation are summarized, integrated, and discussed with respect to neuroimaging data.

PMID: 16536641 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

[Article in German]

Neumann NU, Frasch K.

Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik am Bezirkskrankenhaus Günzburg, Abt. Psychiatrie II der Universität Ulm.

Meditation in general can be understood as a state of complete and unintentional silent and motionless concentration on an activity, an item or an idea. Subjectively, meditative experience is said to be fundamentally different from “normal” mental states and is characterized by terms like timelessness, boundlessness and lack of self-experience. In recent years, several fMRI- and PET-studies about meditation which are presented in this paper have been published. Due to different methods, especially different meditation types, the results are hardly comparable. Nevertheless, the data suggest the hypothesis of a “special” neural activity during meditative states being different from that during calm alertness. Main findings were increased activation in frontal, prefrontal and cingulate areas which may represent the mental state of altered self-experience. In the present studies, a considerable lack of scientific standards has to be stated making it of just casuistic value. Today’s improved neurobiological examination methods – especially neuroimaging techniques – may contribute to enlighten the phenomenon of qualitatively different states of consciousness.

PMID: 17160792 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Jaseja H.

Physiology Department, G.R. Medical College, Gwalior 474001, MP, India; 8, C-Block, Near Paliwal Health Club, Harishanker-puram, Lashkar, Gwalior 474009, MP, India.

PMID: 19236955 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]