Navigation Links
Mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults, Carnegie Mellon study shows
Date:7/24/2012

PITTSBURGHFor older adults, loneliness is a major risk factor for health problems such as cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's and death. Attempts to diminish loneliness with social networking programs like creating community centers to encourage new relationships have not been effective.

However, a new study led by Carnegie Mellon University's J. David Creswell offers the first evidence that mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults. Published in "Brain, Behavior & Immunity," the researchers also found that mindfulness meditation a 2,500-year-old practice dating back to Buddha that focuses on creating an attentive awareness of the present moment lowered inflammation levels, which is thought to promote the development and progression of many diseases. These findings provide valuable insights into how mindfulness meditation training can be used as a novel approach for reducing loneliness and the risk of disease in older adults.

"We always tell people to quit smoking for health reasons, but rarely do we think about loneliness in the same way," said Creswell, assistant professor of psychology within CMU's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. "We know that loneliness is a major risk factor for health problems and mortality in older adults. This research suggests that mindfulness meditation training is a promising intervention for improving the health of older adults."

For the study, the research team recruited 40 healthy adults aged 55-85 who indicated an interest in learning mindfulness meditation techniques. Each person was assessed at the beginning and end of the study using an established loneliness scale. Blood samples also were collected.

The participants were randomly assigned to receive either the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program or no treatment. The MBSR program consisted of weekly two-hour meetings in which participants learned body awareness techniques noticing sensations and working on breathing and worked their way toward understanding how to mindfully attend to their emotions and daily life practices. They also were asked to practice mindfulness meditation exercises for 30 minutes each day at home and attended a daylong retreat.

The researchers found that eight weeks of the mindfulness meditation training decreased the participants' loneliness. Using the blood samples collected, they found that the older adult sample had elevated pro-inflammatory gene expression in their immune cells at the beginning of the study, and that the training reduced this pro-inflammatory gene expression, as well as a measure of C-Reactive Protein (CRP). These findings suggest that mindfulness meditation training may reduce older adults' inflammatory disease risk.

"Reductions in the expression of inflammation-related genes were particularly significant because inflammation contributes to a wide variety of the health threats including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases," said study collaborator Steven Cole, professor of medicine and psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the UCLA School of Medicine.

While the health effects of the observed gene expression changes were not directly measured in the study, Cole noted that "these results provide some of the first indications that immune cell gene expression profiles can be modulated by a psychological intervention."

Creswell added that while this research suggests a promising new approach for treating loneliness and inflammatory disease risk in older adults, more work needs to be done. "If you're interested in using mindfulness meditation, find an instructor in your city," he said. "It's important to train your mind like you train your biceps in the gym."


'/>"/>
Contact: Shilo Rea
shilo@cmu.edu
412-268-6094
Carnegie Mellon University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Physicians mindfulness skills can improve care for patient and provider
2. Meditation practice may decrease risk for cardiovascular disease in teens
3. Meditation practice may decrease risk for cardiovascular disease in teens
4. Mindful Meditation Tied to Healthy Brain Changes: Study
5. Meditation Method a Matter of Taste
6. Exercise, Meditation Can Beat Back Cold, Flu, Study Finds
7. Soy-based S-equol supplement reduces hot flash frequency, muscle & joint pain in US women
8. Use of dedicated pediatric imaging departments for pediatric CT reduces radiation dose
9. Automated breast ultrasound dramatically reduces physician interpretation time
10. NIH study finds sigmoidoscopy reduces colorectal cancer rates
11. Surgical removal of abdominal fat reduces skin cancer in mice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/16/2017)... Louis, MO (PRWEB) , ... January 16, 2017 , ... St. Louisans are well-aware of ... here , This year’s influenza shot seems to be having no effect on ... area, at least half of the people around are coughing, sneezing, or sniffling ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... CITY, UT (PRWEB) , ... January 16, 2017 , ... ... disease not only to treat, but to test for, as well. The money spent ... billion every year.(1) Doctors in the U.S. screen patients for cancer more than in ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... January 15, 2017 , ... ... strategic accounts in the United States for the asthma & allergy friendly mark. This ... America to independently test and identify consumer products to be more suitable for the ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... ... January 15, 2017 , ... "On Tour is a music themed slideshow ... ease," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , On Tour’s ... the style and animation of their slideshows. Place each slide on top of another ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... ... January 15, 2017 , ... The ... is pleased to announce that it will be assisting HackensackUMC Mountainside with its ... Glen Ridge townships, servicing all surrounding towns. The firm will be working closely ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/13/2017)... -- This morning, Stock-Callers.com draws attention to ... at yesterday,s closing bell: Clovis Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: ... GALE ), and ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... to develop technologies and products that combat debilitating and ... use less and cleaner energy, and provide safer, cleaner ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... -- The 2016 election resulted in a big ... in favor of legalizing cannabis for recreational use, including ... U.S. In addition, the state of Colorado ... sales. The ArcView Group has published an updated research report ... in the U.S. last year reached $6.7 billion, a growth of ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... NEW YORK , Jan. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, is pleased to ... advocacy efforts, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid ... devices approved by the FDA for use in ... a significant step toward making them eligible for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: