Background: This study assesses changes in mood and anxiety in a cohort of subjects with memory loss who participated in an 8-week Kirtan Kriya meditation program. Perceived spirituality also was assessed. Previous reports from this cohort showed changes in cognitive function and cerebral blood flow (CBF). The purpose of this analysis was to assess outcome measures of mood and affect, and also spirituality, and to determine whether or not results correlated with changes in CBF.
Methods: Fifteen (15) subjects (mean age 62±7 years) with memory problems were enrolled in an 8-week meditation program. Before and after the 8-week meditation, subjects were given a battery of neuropsychologic tests as well as measures of mood, anxiety, and spirituality. In addition, they underwent single photon emission computed tomography scans before and after the program. A region-of-interest template obtained counts in several brain structures that could also be compared to the results from the affect and spirituality measures.
Results: The meditation training program resulted in notable improvement trends in mood, anxiety, tension, and fatigue, with some parameters reaching statistical significance. All major trends correlated with changes in CBF. There were nonsignificant trends in spirituality scores that did not correlate with changes in CBF.
Conclusions: An 8-week, 12 minute a day meditation program in patients with memory loss was associated with positive changes in mood, anxiety, and other neuropsychologic parameters, and these changes correlated with changes in CBF. A larger-scale study is needed to confirm these findings and better elucidate mechanisms of change.