July 13, 2016

Here's More Info on the PD Remission that's Been Attributed to the Patient's Use of Meditation

Needless to say, I was intrigued by the news report I summarized in yesterday's post about a 78-year-old man who is in remission from Parkinson's disease, reportedly as a result of his many years practicing meditation.

I managed to find and read the full report, and now I'm even more intrigued. The patient "has been off all anti-Parkinsonian pharmacotherapy since 2012 with no clear symptoms or signs of PD."

This passage describes the patient's meditation practice: 
​T​he patient meditates for at least 30 minutes daily using a practice called "centering prayer," which he learned during his brief time as a postulate in a Franciscan monastery 37 years ago. In this technique, he focuses his mind on a single religious word to reach a meditative state. He states that he feels less "PD like" when he meditates, so he began to reinvest energy in meditation practice after his PD onset.

Critics might well ask this question: If meditating somehow created a “cure,” why did this man come down with PD in the first place, in light of his 21 years of meditation BEFORE his diagnosis in 2000?

The report explains​:
​W​e are unable to offer insight as to why the patient presented with PD in the face of such possible benefits of long-term meditation practice; however, intensity of engagement with the practice likely increased after the diagnosis, and he may have benefited from this more intensive practice. Regardless of the role of the patient's meditation, this case demonstrates the possibility of PD symptom remission.​

I was also interested in the report’s mention of other instances of putative PD remission. Unfortunately, the technical language made much of the discussion incomprehensible to me. For example:

​D​ense modulatory projections from the ventromedial and orbito-prefrontal areas primarily influence the ventral striatum, the rostral caudate nucleus, and the putamen; additional sensorimotor area project more caudally primarily to the putamen.

​Say again?

I'll see if one of my more erudite friends can provide a translation.

For the text of the report, click here.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Hi there, Nicole here from Healthline. I noticed you have one of our award badges on your sidebar. I'm wondering if you would please link to the list of winners? http://www.healthline.com/health/parkinsons/best-blogs-of-the-year

Please let me know if you have any questions.