OBJECTIVE: Mindfulness meditation has met increasing interest as a therapeutic strategy for anxiety disorders, but prior studies have been limited by methodological concerns, including a lack of an active comparison group. This is the first randomized, controlled trial comparing the manualized Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program with an active control for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a disorder characterized by chronic worry and physiologic hyperarousal symptoms. METHOD: Ninety-three individuals with DSM-IV-diagnosed GAD were randomly assigned to an 8-week group intervention with MBSR or to an attention control, Stress Management Education (SME), between 2009 and 2011. Anxiety symptoms were measured with the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA; primary outcome measure), the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness and -Improvement scales (CGI-S and CGI-I), and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Stress reactivity was assessed by comparing anxiety and distress during pretreatment and posttreatment administration of the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). RESULTS: A modified intent-to-treat analysis including participants who completed at least 1 session of MBSR (n = 48) or SME (n = 41) showed that both interventions led to significant (P < .0001) reductions in HAMA scores at endpoint, but did not significantly differ. MBSR, however, was associated with a significantly greater reduction in anxiety as measured by the CGI-S, the CGI-I, and the BAI (all P values < .05). MBSR was also associated with greater reductions than SME in anxiety and distress ratings in response to the TSST stress challenge (P < .05) and a greater increase in positive self-statements (P = .004). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that MBSR may have a beneficial effect on anxiety symptoms in GAD and may also improve stress reactivity and coping as measured in a laboratory stress challenge. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01033851.
"Assessment of blood plasma chemokine levels in patients with personality disorders and generalized anxiety is an attempt to answer the question of the etiopathogenesis of anxiety disorders and existence of a development continuum in anxiety disorders on a basis of personality disorder   . It is likely that the immune system is involved in this process, as its activation is associated with maintaining intracellular neurohormonal pathways inflamed   . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Living well with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requires people to manage disease-related symptoms in order to participate in activities of daily living. Mindfulness practice is an intervention that has been shown to reduce symptoms of chronic disease and improve accurate symptom assessment, both of which could result in improved disease management and increased wellness for people with COPD. A randomized controlled trial was conducted to investigate an 8-week mindful meditation intervention program tailored for the COPD population and explore the use of breathing timing parameters as a possible physiological measure of meditation uptake. Results demonstrated that those randomized to the mindful meditation intervention group (N=19) had a significant increase in respiratory rate over time as compared to those randomized to the wait-list group (N=22) (P=0.045). It was also found that the mindful meditation intervention group demonstrated a significant decrease in level of mindfulness over time as compared to the wait-list group (P=0.023). When examining participants from the mindful meditation intervention who had completed six or more classes, it was found that respiratory rate did not significantly increase in comparison to the wait-list group. Furthermore, those who completed six or more classes (N=12) demonstrated significant improvement in emotional function in comparison to the wait-list group (P=0.032) even though their level of mindfulness did not improve. This study identifies that there may be a complex relationship between breathing parameters, emotion, and mindfulness in the COPD population. The results describe good feasibility and acceptability for meditation interventions in the COPD population.
International Journal of COPD 03/2015; 10:445-454. DOI:10.2147/COPD.S73864 · 3.14 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mindfulness training aims to impact emotion regulation. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms can be successfully addressed through mindfulness-based interventions. This preliminary study is the first to investi-gate neural mechanisms of symptom improvements in GAD following mindfulness training. Furthermore, we compared brain activation between GAD patients and healthy participants at baseline. 26 patients with a current DSM-IV GAD diagnosis were randomized to an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR, N = 15) or a stress management education (SME, N = 11) active control program. 26 healthy participants were included for baseline comparisons. BOLD response was assessed with fMRI during affect labeling of angry and neutral facial expressions. At baseline, GAD patients showed higher amygdala activation than healthy participants in response to neutral, but not angry faces, suggesting that ambiguous stimuli reveal stronger reactivity in GAD patients. In patients, amygdala activation in response to neutral faces decreased following both interventions. BOLD re-sponse in ventrolateral prefrontal regions (VLPFC) showed greater increase in MBSR than SME participants. Functional connectivity between amygdala and PFC regions increased significantly pre-to post-intervention within the MBSR, but not SME group. Both, change in VLPFC activation and amygdala–prefrontal connectivity were correlated with change in Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) scores, suggesting clinical relevance of these changes. Amygdala–prefrontal connectivity turned from negative coupling (typically seen in down-regulation of emotions), to positive coupling; potentially suggesting a unique mechanism of mindfulness. Findings suggest that in GAD, mindfulness training leads to changes in fronto-limbic areas crucial for the regulation of emotion; these changes correspond with reported symptom improvements.
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