The studies, conducted at Charles Drew University in Los Angeles and University of Hawaii in Kohala included African Americans and Native Hawaiians, 55 years and older, who were at risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants were randomly allocated to the Transcendental Meditation program or health education control group, and assessed with a standard test for depression—the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) inventory over 9-12 months.
"Clinically meaningful reductions in depressive symptoms were associated with practice of the Transcendental Meditation program," said Sanford Nidich, EdD, lead author and senior researcher at the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management. "The findings of these studies have important implications for improving mental health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality," said Dr. Nidich.
Participants in both studies who practiced the Transcendental Meditation program showed significant reductions in depressive symptoms compared to health education controls. The largest decreases were found in those participants who had indications of clinically significant depression, with those practicing Transcendental Meditation showing an average reduction in depressive symptoms of 48%.
"These results are encouraging and provide support for testing the efficacy of Transcendental Meditation as a therapeutic adjunct in the treatment of clinical depression," said Hector Myers, PhD, study co-author and professor and director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at U.C.L.A.
The results of these studies are timely. For older Americans, depression is a particularly debilitating disease, with approximately 20% suffering from some form of depression. Overall, 18 million men and women suffer from depression in the United States. Depression is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, with even a moderate level of depressive symptoms associated with increased cardiac events.
"The clinically significant reductions in depression without drugs or psychotherapy in these studies suggest the Transcendental Meditation program may improve mental and associated physical health in older high risk subjects," said Robert Schneider MD FACC, director of MUM's Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention.
"The importance of reducing depression in the elderly at risk for heart disease cannot be overestimated," said Gary P. Kaplan MD PhD, Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology NYU School of Medicine. "Any technique not involving extra medication in this population is a welcome addition. I look forward to further research on the Transcendental Meditation technique and prevention of depression in other at-risk elderly populations, including those with stroke and other chronic diseases."
The studies were funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health - National Heart Lung and Blood Institute and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Facts on Study Design
The first study was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Hector Myers at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. It included a subgroup of 59 African American men and women, 55 years and older, with a minimum carotid artery wall thickness of 0.65 for women and 0.72 for men.
The second study was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Grandinetti at the University of Hawaii. Data was collected on 53 Native Hawaiian men in Kohala, Hawaii, 55 years and older, who had at least one additional major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Measurements with the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) Rating Scale were taken at baseline, 3-month posttest, and 9-12 month posttest, comparing Transcendental Meditation to health education controls.
Both African Americans and Native Hawaiians suffer from higher rates of cardiovascular disease compared to whites. African Americans have approximately 1.5 times the rate of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and Native Hawaiians have 2 to 4 times the rate of cardiovascular disease compared to the whites.
Facts on Depression
12.4 million women and 6.4 million men in the U.S. suffer from depression.
Approximately 20% of the elderly suffers from some form of depression according the National Institutes of Health.
Depression is an important risk factor for the development and progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Research has found that a dose-response effect exists whereby the level of depressive symptoms is linearly associated with the prevalence of cardiac events. Even a moderate level of depressive symptoms increases the risk for cardiac events.
The Medical Outcomes Study determined that depression was more impairing in terms of patient functioning and well being than arthritis, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension, among others, and is more disruptive for social functioning than all of the chronic medical conditions.
Research has shown that approximately 50% of patients suffering from major depression can be left undiagnosed by general practitioners.
Depression accounts for $83.1 billion in medical care and workplace costs.
Ken Chawkin | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > African elephant > Depression > Epidemiological > Hawaiian > Medicine > Meditation > Native Client > Prevention > Transcendental Meditation > cardiovascular disease > cardiovascular morbidity > chronic disease > depressive symptoms > health services > risk factor > vascular disease
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences