Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Prof. Raju Surampudi Bapi and his students Madhukar Dwivedi and Aditya Jain Pansari  published a paper on Effects of Meditation on Structural Changes of the Brain in Patients With Mild Cognitive Impairment or Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal. The other author of this paper are Neha Dubey, Department of Neurology, Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Kolkata and Department of Applied Psychology, University of Calcutta, Kolkata; Meghoranjani Das, Department of Neurology, Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Kolkata; Maushumi Guha, Department of Philosophy, Jadavpur University, Kolkata; Rahul Banerjee, Crystallography and Molecular Biology Division, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata; Gobinda Pramanick, Department of Radiology, Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Kolkata; Jayanti Basu, Department of Applied Psychology, University of Calcutta, Kolkata and Amitabha Ghosh, Department of Neurology, Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Kolkata.

Research paper as explained by the authors: Previous cross-sectional studies reported positive effects of meditation on the brain areas related to attention and executive function in the healthy elderly population. Effects of long-term regular meditation in persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease dementia (AD) have rarely been studied. In this study, we explored changes in cortical thickness and gray matter volume in meditation-naïve persons with MCI or mild AD after long-term meditation intervention. MCI or mild AD patients underwent detailed clinical and neuropsychological assessment and were assigned into meditation or non-meditation groups. High resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance images (MRI) were acquired at baseline and after 6 months. Longitudinal symmetrized percentage changes (SPC) in cortical thickness and gray matter volume were estimated. Left caudal middle frontal, left rostral middle frontal, left superior parietal, right lateral orbitofrontal, and right superior frontal cortices showed changes in both cortical thickness and gray matter volume; the left paracentral cortex showed changes in cortical thickness; the left lateral occipital, left superior frontal, left banks of the superior temporal sulcus (bankssts), and left medial orbitofrontal cortices showed changes in gray matter volume. All these areas exhibited significantly higher SPC values in meditators as compared to non-meditators. Conversely, the left lateral occipital, and right posterior cingulate cortices showed significantly lower SPC values for cortical thickness in the meditators. In hippocampal subfields analysis, we observed significantly higher SPC in gray matter volume of the left CA1, molecular layer HP, and CA3 with a trend for increased gray matter volume in most other areas. No significant changes were found for the hippocampal subfields in the right hemisphere. Analysis of the subcortical structures revealed significantly increased volume in the right thalamus in the meditation group. The results of the study point out that long-term meditation practice in persons with MCI or mild AD leads to salutary changes in cortical thickness and gray matter volumes. Most of these changes were observed in the brain areas related to executive control and memory that are prominently at risk in neurodegenerative diseases.

To view the full paper visit: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2021.728993/full

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