Effects of Mindful-Attention and Compassion Meditation Training on Amygdala Response to Emotional Stimuli in an Ordinary, Non-Meditative State.

Effects of mindful-attention and compassion meditation training on amygdala response to emotional stimuli in an ordinary, non-meditative state.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Front Hum Neurosci. 2012; 6: 292
Desbordes G, Negi LT, Pace TW, Wallace BA, Raison CL, Schwartz EL

The amygdala has been repeatedly implicated in emotional processing of both positive and negative-valence stimuli. Previous studies suggest that the amygdala response to emotional stimuli is lower when the subject is in a meditative state of mindful-attention, both in beginner meditators after an 8-week meditation intervention and in expert meditators. However, the longitudinal effects of meditation training on amygdala responses have not been reported when participants are in an ordinary, non-meditative state. In this study, we investigated how 8 weeks of training in meditation affects amygdala responses to emotional stimuli in subjects when in a non-meditative state. Healthy adults with no prior meditation experience took part in 8 weeks of either Mindful Attention Training (MAT), Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT; a program based on Tibetan Buddhist compassion meditation practices), or an active control intervention. Before and after the intervention, participants underwent an fMRI experiment during which they were presented images with positive, negative, and neutral emotional valences from the IAPS database while remaining in an ordinary, non-meditative state. Using a region-of-interest analysis, we found a longitudinal decrease in right amygdala activation in the Mindful Attention group in response to positive images, and in response to images of all valences overall. In the CBCT group, we found a trend increase in right amygdala response to negative images, which was significantly correlated with a decrease in depression score. No effects or trends were observed in the control group. This finding suggests that the effects of meditation training on emotional processing might transfer to non-meditative states. This is consistent with the hypothesis that meditation training may induce learning that is not stimulus- or task-specific, but process-specific, and thereby may result in enduring changes in mental function.
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The relationship between older adults’ self-management abilities, well-being and depression.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Eur J Ageing. 2012 Dec; 9(4): 353-360
Cramm JM, Hartgerink JM, de Vreede PL, Bakker TJ, Steyerberg EW, Mackenbach JP, Nieboer AP

This study aimed to identify the relationship between self-management abilities, well-being and depression. Our study was conducted among older adults (>65 years of age) who were vulnerable to loss of function after hospital discharge. Three months after hospital admission, 296/456 patients (65 % response rate) were interviewed in their homes. The 30-item Self-Management Ability Scale was used to measure six self-management abilities: taking initiative, investing in resources for long-term benefits, taking care of a variety of resources, taking care of resource multifunctionality, being self-efficacious and having a positive frame of mind. Well-being was measured with the Social Production Function (SPF) Instrument for the Level of Well-being (SPF-IL) and Cantril’s ladder. The Geriatric Depression Scale was used to assess depression. Correlation analyses showed that all self-management abilities were strong indicators for well-being (p < 0.001 for all). Regression analyses revealed that investing in resources for long-term benefits, taking care of a variety of resources, taking care of resource multifunctionality and being self-efficacious were associated with well-being. While no significant relationship was found between well-being and having a positive frame of mind or taking initiative, regression analyses revealed that these self-management abilities were related to depression. Investing in resources for long-term benefits and taking care of a variety of resources were significantly related to depression. This research showed that self-management abilities are related to well-being and depression among older adults. In addition, this study identified key self-management abilities for older adults who had recently been discharged from a hospital. HubMed – depression


Fetal and neonatal levels of omega-3: effects on neurodevelopment, nutrition, and growth.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

ScientificWorldJournal. 2012; 2012: 202473
Bernardi JR, Escobar Rde S, Ferreira CF, Silveira PP

Nutrition in pregnancy, during lactation, childhood, and later stages has a fundamental influence on overall development. There is a growing research interest on the role of key dietary nutrients in fetal health. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs) play an important role in brain development and function. Evidence from animal models of dietary n-3 LCPUFAs deficiency suggests that these fatty acids promote early brain development and regulate behavioral and neurochemical aspects related to mood disorders (stress responses, depression, and aggression and growth, memory, and cognitive functions). Preclinical and clinical studies suggest the role of n-3 LCPUFAs on neurodevelopment and growth. n-3 LCPUFAs may be an effective adjunctive factor for neural development, growth, and cognitive development, but further large-scale, well-controlled trials and preclinical studies are needed to examine its clinical mechanisms and possible benefits. The present paper discusses the use of n-3 LCPUFAs during different developmental stages and the investigation of different sources of consumption. The paper summarizes the role of n-3 LCPUFAs levels during critical periods and their effects on the children’s neurodevelopment, nutrition, and growth.
HubMed – depression


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