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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2018 Apr;262:328-332.
doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.01.006. Epub 2017 Jan 26.

The Effect of Mindfulness Meditation Training on Biological Acute Stress Responses in Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

The Effect of Mindfulness Meditation Training on Biological Acute Stress Responses in Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Elizabeth A Hoge et al. Psychiatry Res. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Mindfulness-Based interventions have increased in popularity in psychiatry, but the impact of these treatments on disorder-relevant biomarkers would greatly enhance efficacy and mechanistic evidence. If Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is successfully treated, relevant biomarkers should change, supporting the impact of treatment and suggesting improved resilience to stress. Seventy adults with GAD were randomized to receive either Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or an attention control class; before and after, they underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Area-Under-the-Curve (AUC) concentrations were calculated for adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and pro-inflammatory cytokines. MBSR participants had a significantly greater reduction in ACTH AUC compared to control participants. Similarly, the MBSR group had a greater reduction in inflammatory cytokines' AUC concentrations. We found larger reductions in stress markers for patients with GAD in the MBSR class compared to control; this provides the first combined hormonal and immunological evidence that MBSR may enhance resilience to stress.

Keywords: Acute stress; Anxiety; Meditation; Mindfulness-based intervention; Psychological stress; Resilience; Stress reactivity.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Interest

Dr. Hoge reports grants from National Institutes of Health (K23AT4432) during the conduct of the study. Dr. Bui received funding from the National Institute of Health, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Highland Street Foundation, and from the U.S. Department of Defense during the conduct of the study. Ms. Palitz and Mr. Schwarz received funding from the National Institute of Health and the Highland Street Foundation during the conduct of the study. Ms. Owens received funding from Highland Street Foundation during the conduct of the study. Dr. Johnston has nothing to disclose. Dr. Simon received funding from the National Institute of Health, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Highland Street Foundation, and from the U.S. Department of Defense during the conduct of the study. Dr. Pollack reports grants from NIH during the conduct of the study; he was also an advisory board member or consultant for Eli Lilly, Medavante, Otsuka, and Transcept; Dr. Pollack also had equity in Medavante, Mensante Corporation, Mindsite, and Targa; he has received royalties from or holds patents on the SIGH-A and SAFER interviews.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Change in plasma area-under-the-curve (AUC) concentration with treatment (pg/mL)

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