Category Archives: Psychoneuroimmunology

The Effects of Meditation on Heart Rate Variability

Meditation, especially slow breathing, is known to influence the heart rate variability (HRV). Researchers in Taiwan studied the effects of inward attention during meditation on HRV (Wu and Lo, 2008). Inward attention is a critical process for achieving the state … Continue reading

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Meditation as An Effective Intervention for PTSD

Meditation training may be useful for relieving posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including depression and anxiety symptoms. Researchers at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology studied the effects of meditation among mental health workers in New Orleans 10 weeks after Hurricane Katrina … Continue reading

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Effects of Spiritual Meditation on Migraine Headaches

Patients with migraine headaches often have symptoms of depression, anxiety, and low self-efficacy. Spiritual meditation has been found to relieve these symptoms. Researchers at University of Mass Medical Center studied the effects of spiritual meditation on improving pain tolerance and … Continue reading

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Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Relieve Chronic Tinnitus

Chronic tinnitus is a common health problem. However, no effective drug treatment has been found yet. Researchers in UK evaluated the effects of mindfulness meditation in tinnitus (Sadlier et al., 2008). In the study, 25 chronic tinnitus sufferers were divided … Continue reading

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Mindfulness-Based Methods and Eating Behaviors

Mindfulness-based interventions are getting more and more popular for the promotion of healthy eating behaviors and weight control. Specifically, studies have indicated that mindfulness meditation may be helpful for healing binge eating (Katterman et al., 2014). A meta-analysis and review … Continue reading

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Youth Obesity, Mindful Eating, and Meditation-Based Interventions

Today more than 30% of young people in the US are overweight, and more than 15% of them have metabolic syndrome (Dalen et al., 2015). Youth obesity is becoming a more and more significant health problem. However, effective interventions are … Continue reading

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Mindfulness-Based Interventions, Eating Behaviors, and Obesity

How can mindfulness-based approaches affect psychological and physical health among those who are overweight or obese? A recent meta-analysis examined randomized controlled trials and focused on 15 relevant studies involving 560 individuals (Rogers et al., 2017). The study found that … Continue reading

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Potential Biomarkers for Anxiety

•    Potential Biomarker: Serum levels of lipid hydroperoxide (LOOH) •    Type:    Serum •    Relevance: The serum levels of lipid hydroperoxide have been considered as a potential biomarker for anxiety disorders among children (Ceylan et al., 2014). •    Potential Biomarker: Nighttime … Continue reading

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Inflammation and Diseases

Inflammation is an immune response of the body to protect from irritants, stimuli, or external materials that may be detrimental. Inflammatory signs: Redness Swelling Heat Pain Immune surveillance: The immune system can monitor, find, and remove the useless or damaging … Continue reading

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Effects of Mind-Body Interventions on the Proinflammatory Transcription Factor NF-κB

Mind-body interventions such as Tai Chi, Qigong, yoga, and meditation have been found to improve the quality of life. Recent studies have shown that these methods may affect the biological activities especially inflammation. A meta-study of 26 trials about mind-body … Continue reading

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Psychoneuroimmunology Database

The Database of Psychoneuroimmunology (DPNI) The Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) Portal and Knowledge Base Potential Biomarkers for Anxiety The Database of Biomarkers: Depression Mind-Body Medicine About Meditation: The Portal and Knowledge Base The Nervous System Neuroinformatics The Database of Cytokines Chronobiology The … Continue reading

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Alzheimer’s Disease and the Gene APOE (Apolipoprotein E)

The APOE gene has other symbols as “AD2”, “LPG”, “APO-E”, and “LDLCQ5”. It is located at 19q13.2. The APOE gene has important roles in cardiovascular diseases including myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, and coronary heart disease (Kathiresan et al. 2008). The … Continue reading

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Psychiatric Symptoms and the Gene SGCE (Sarcoglycan Epsilon)

The SGCE gene has other symbols as “ESG” and “DYT11”. It is located at 7q21.3. As a member of the sarcoglycan family, it is a component of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC). It provides the connections between the actin cytoskeleton and … Continue reading

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Epilepsy and the Gene KCNT1 (Potassium Sodium-Activated Channel Subfamily T member 1)

The KCNT1 gene has other symbols as “ENFL5”, “SLACK”, “EIEE14”, “KCa4.1”, “Slo2.2”, and “bA100C15.2”. It is located at 9q34.3. Encoding a sodium-activated potassium channel, this gene is highly expressed in the brain (Nagase et al. 2000). It has been related … Continue reading

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Neuropsychiatric Disorders and the Gene COMT (Catechol-O-Methyltransferase)

The COMT gene has another symbol as “HEL-S-98n”. It is located at 22q11.21. It is an important enzyme in the process of metabolic degradation of catecholamines (Gogos et al., 1998). The 158met variant on the nondeleted allele has been related … Continue reading

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Psychiatric Diseases and the Gene DISC1 (Disrupted in Schizophrenia 1)

The DISC1 gene has other symbols as “SCZD9” and “C1orf136”. It is located at 1q42.2. It is involved in the regulation of the AKT-mTOR signaling pathway and associated with embryonic and adult neurogenesis (Kim et al. 2009). DISC1 has been … Continue reading

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Stress, Depression, Inflammation, and Personalized Medicine

Stress, Depression, Inflammation, and Personalized Medicine Psychological stress has been associated with higher levels of inflammation and the risks of many physical disorders including heart diseases. For example, chronic stress responses may cause a variety of skin disorders including allergic … Continue reading

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Stress, Chronic Diseases, and Psychoneuroimmunology

Stress, Chronic Diseases, and Psychoneuroimmunology Although many chronic diseases such as cancer are apparently physical, they can lead to psychological distress. Chronic psychosocial stress may in turn affect the physical health negatively. Studies in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) have shown that the … Continue reading

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Psychoneuroimmunology, Anxiety, and Inflammation

The emerging discipline of psychoneuroimmunology focuses on the interactions and cross talk among the immune system, the central nervous system (CNS), and behavior. For example, cytokines in the CNS have critical functions that can influence behavior. Such effects may result … Continue reading

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Variations in Frontal Dysfunctions in BPD and ADHD

Impulsive behaviors are the important features of disorders including borderline personality disorder (BPD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Impulsivity has a broad meaning covering different aspects such as personality traits and cognitive functions (Sebastian et al., 2014). The concept includes emotion … Continue reading

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Stress, Depression, and Serum Enzyme Activities

Depression has been associated with the activities of many enzymes, including the serum creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (Kato et al., 2014). Such changes may occur even in healthy people under stress with certain depressive symptoms. In a … Continue reading

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Anxiety and Polymorphisms in the Serotonin Transporter

Anxiety has been associated with transporter-assisted uptake of serotonin.  Many antidepressant and antianxiety drugs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Polymorphisms of the gene for the serotonin transporter (SERT, or SLC6A4) have been found to influence its functions and activities. … Continue reading

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Genetic Factors, Quantitative Trait Loci, and Human Personality

Both genetic and environmental factors can influence human personality. Genetic factors may affect about half of trait disparity. Their effects are highly complex with gene-gene and gene-environment interactions. To link specific genes with quantitative traits, the analysis of quantitative trait … Continue reading

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Aging, Social Support, and Leukocyte Telomere Length (LTL)

Aging and psychological conditions may influence the leukocyte telomere length (LTL) (Carroll et al., 2013; Müezzinler et al., 2013). A meta-study of cross-sectional studies and longitudinal studies indicated inverse associations between age and both absolute and relative LTL, with an … Continue reading

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Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia Syndrome, and Sleep Quality

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) often have poor sleep quality (Ulus et al., 2012; Nicassio et al., 2014). For example, in a study of 107 patients, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was found to be associated with the … Continue reading

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