Mindfulness meditation effects on CD4 + T lymphocytes in HIV-1 infected adults: a small, randomized controlled trial. Brain Behavior and Immunity, 23, 184-188

Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, University of California, Los Angeles, 300 Medical Plaza, Suite 3109, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
Brain Behavior and Immunity (Impact Factor: 5.89). 08/2008; 23(2):184-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2008.07.004
Source: PubMed


Mindfulness meditation training has stress reduction benefits in various patient populations, but its effects on biological markers of HIV-1 progression are unknown. The present study tested the efficacy of an 8-week Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) meditation program compared to a 1-day control seminar on CD4+ T lymphocyte counts in stressed HIV infected adults. A single-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted with enrollment and follow-up occurring between November 2005 and December 2007. A diverse community sample of 48 HIV-1 infected adults was randomized and entered treatment in either an 8-week MBSR or a 1-day control stress reduction education seminar. The primary outcome was circulating counts of CD4+ T lymphocytes. Participants in the 1-day control seminar showed declines in CD4+ T lymphocyte counts whereas counts among participants in the 8-week MBSR program were unchanged from baseline to post-intervention (time x treatment condition interaction, p=.02). This effect was independent of antiretroviral (ARV) medication use. Additional analyses indicated that treatment adherence to the mindfulness meditation program, as measured by class attendance, mediated the effects of mindfulness meditation training on buffering CD4+ T lymphocyte declines. These findings provide an initial indication that mindfulness meditation training can buffer CD4+ T lymphocyte declines in HIV-1 infected adults. Clinical Trials Registration:, Identifier: NCT00600561.

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    • "A PubMed search of the term mindfulness revealed the following trend: 11 articles published between 1980 and 1989; 28 articles published between 1990 and 1999; 510 articles published between 2000 and 2010; and 2,263 articles published between 2011 and August 2015. Mindfulness meditation has been studied in a broad range of mental and physical health outcomes, such as major depression [4], cancer [5], HIV pathogenesis [6], multiple sclerosis [7], chronic low back pain [8], chronic insomnia [9], and chronic kidney disease [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mindfulness training has recently gained much research interest because of its putative benefits for both mental and physical health. However, little is available in its effects on Asian students. Therefore, a quasi-experimental pre/posttest design was used to assess the effects of a one-semester mindfulness meditation course in 152 first-year Taiwanese university students and compared with 130 controls. The Chinese version of the College Learning Effectiveness Inventory (CLEI) and a computer software program focused on specific cognitive tasks were used for the evaluation. Results from the analysis of covariance revealed that while the score of the full CLEI scale was significantly higher in the intervention group compared with the control ( P = 0.022 ), none of the comparisons between the nine CLEI subscales were significantly different between the two groups. For the computer cognitive tasks, the intervention group exhibited significantly better performance in the accuracy of the digital vigilance task ( P = 0.048 ), choice reaction time ( P = 0.004 ), spatial working memory ( P = 0.042 ), and digital vigilance task reaction time ( P = 0.004 ). This study showed that a one-semester mindfulness meditation course was able to improve learning effectiveness and both attention and memory aspects of cognitive performance among Taiwanese university students.
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    • "A mounting body of literature points to the positive benefits of mindfulness based interventions in the promotion of subjective and objective measures of physical health (Baer, 2003; Brown et al., 2007; Epel et al., 2009). Training in mindfulness based interventions has been associated with increased antibody titer response to influenza vaccination (Davidson et al., 2003), buffering of CD4+ lymphocyte declines in HIV-1 infected individuals (Creswell et al., 2009), reduced interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) levels in response to an acute stressor (Pace et al., 2009, 2010) and blood pressure (BP) reductions in individuals with hypertension (Paul-Labrador et al., 2006; Schneider et al., 2005). Despite research linking mindfulness training to changes in physiological variables, the mechanisms driving the relationship remain unclear. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mindfulness based interventions have been associated with improvements in physical health; however, the mechanisms underlying these changes are unclear. The current study explored relationships between trait mindfulness, blood pressure (BP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Relationships between physical health variables and (1) a composite score of mindfulness, (2) individual facets of mindfulness and (3) interactions between theoretically relevant pairs of mindfulness subscales were investigated. One hundred and thirty healthy, young adults [M (SD) age = 21.7(2.7) years] reported trait levels of mindfulness (Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, subscales include: observing, describing, acting with awareness (AWA), nonjudging and nonreactivity), had their resting BP measured and underwent a blood draw to assesses circulating IL-6 levels. Age, gender, body mass index, race/ethnicity, depression and perceived stress were obtained and used as covariates. A composite score of trait mindfulness was associated with lower BP and a trend suggested that it was also associated with lower IL-6. Investigation of individual facets of mindfulness revealed interactions between the subscales AWA and nonjudging, such that higher endorsement of AWA was associated with lower BP only when nonjudging was also high. A second interaction was observed between the subscales observing and nonreactivity, such that higher endorsement of observing was associated with lower IL-6 only when levels of nonreactivity were also high. Trait mindfulness was associated with both BP and IL-6. Examining interactions between facets of mindfulness variables may be important in understanding how mindfulness based interventions influence physiology.
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    • "An alternate to CBSM which has garnered increasing attention as a plausible HIV intervention is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). In addition to positive changes in mindfulness, several studies have reported increases in psychoimmune function and decrease in HIV symptomology following an eight week intervention (Creswell et al., 2009; Duncan et al., 2012; Gayner et al., 2012; SeyedAlinaghi et al., 2012). Hence, interventions focusing on cognitive regulation of emotional appraisals may be a plausible option for restoration of neurocognitive, behavioral and immune function for individuals demonstrating poor assimilation of feelings and emotions (Davidson et al., 2003; Hölzel et al., 2011; Paul et al., 2013). "
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