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Abstract Title:

Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Intraocular Pressure, Lowers Stress Biomarkers and Modulates Gene Expression in Glaucoma: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Abstract Source:

J Glaucoma. 2018 Dec ;27(12):1061-1067. PMID: 30256277

Abstract Author(s):

Tanuj Dada, Deepti Mittal, Kuldeep Mohanty, Muneeb A Faiq, Muzaffer A Bhat, Raj K Yadav, Ramanjit Sihota, Talvir Sidhu, Thirumurthy Velpandian, Mani Kalaivani, Ravindra M Pandey, Ying Gao, Bernhard A Sabel, Rima Dada

Article Affiliation:

Tanuj Dada

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Reducing intraocular pressure (IOP) in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is currently the only approach to prevent further optic nerve head damage. However, other mechanisms such as ischemia, oxidative stress, glutamate excitotoxicity, neurotrophin loss, inflammation/glial activation, and vascular dysregulation are not addressed. Because stress is a key risk factor affecting these mechanisms, we evaluated whether mindfulness-based stress reduction can lower IOP and normalize typical stress biomarkers.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a prospective, randomized trial 90 POAG patients (180 eyes; age above 45 y) were assigned to a waitlist control or mindfulness meditation group which practiced daily for 21 days. We measured IOP (primary endpoint), quality of life (QOL), stress-related serum biomarkers [cortisol, β-endorphins, IL6, TNF-α, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), reactive oxygen species (ROS), total antioxidant capacity (TAC)], and whole genome expression.

RESULTS: Between-group comparisons revealed significantly lowered IOP in meditators (OD: 18.8 to 12.7, OS 19.0 to 13.1 mm Hg) which correlated with significantly lowered stress-biomarker levels including cortisol (497.3 to 392.3 ng/mL), IL6 (2.8 to 1.5 ng/mL), TNF-α (57.1 to 45.4 pg/mL), ROS (1625 to 987 RLU/min/104 neutrophils), and elevated β-endorphins (38.4 to 52.7 pg/mL), BDNF (56.1 to 83.9 ng/mL), and TAC (5.9 to 9.3) (all P<0.001). These changes correlated well with gene expression profiling. Meditators improved in QOL (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: A short course of mindfulness-based stress reduction by meditation in POAG, reduces IOP, improves QOL, normalizes stress biomarkers, and positively modifies gene expression. Mindfulness meditation can be recommended as adjunctive therapy for POAG.

Study Type : Human Study

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Sayer Ji
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