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Plant Based Birth Control For Men: New compounds found to prevent conception.

Posted on May 6, 2022 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

 

 

 



Plant Based Birth Control Mechanism Uncovered by Pew Biomedical Scholar

New compounds found to prevent conception



ARTICLE

June 22, 2017


Pew Biomedical Scholars


Plant based birth control

Compounds that structurally resemble the naturally occurring compound progesterone (illustrated above), such as lupeol or pristimerin, can prevent fertilization.

 



 

People have been searching for effective methods of contraception for centuries. Ancient cultures have thoroughly documented the use of plants with contraceptive properties to prevent pregnancies. However, science has yet to discover how herbal-based medicine can work as a form of birth control.

 


Pew biomedical scholar Polina Lishko, who holds a doctorate in physiology and biophysics, found that two plant-based compounds—pristimerin (extracted from the thunder god vine, a plant frequently used in Chinese medicine) and lupeol (found in mangoes and aloe)—block a key process that allows the sperm to penetrate the egg. She and her colleagues in the department of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley published their findings in the May issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

During the fertilization process, sperm cells beat their tails in a side-to-side pattern to travel long distances to the egg. Once they are close, sperm must alter their rhythmic swimming for a final “power kick” in order to break through the egg’s dense protective layer. When the sperm cell is in close proximity to the egg, the hormone progesterone binds to a channel in the membrane of the sperm, allowing a large amount of calcium into its tail, providing the force for the power kick.

 

Lishko and her colleagues report that because pristimerin and lupeol are compounds that resemble naturally occurring progesterone, they can compete with it to bind the channel—choking off the flux of calcium into the sperm tail. Thus, the switch that boosts the sperm into hyper-drive is blocked, preventing fertilization. Notably, these compounds worked even at low concentrations. They did not pose any harm to the sperm and left them still able to swim.

 

Unlike emergency contraceptives on the market today, the plant-based compounds could be used to prevent fertilization rather than halting the process after it occurs. Currently, there is little research on targeting this distinct step in the fertilization process. A new form of birth control may be on the horizon—one that can be used by both men and women to prevent pregnancies, with minimal side effects on the body.

 



Kara Coleman directs The Pew Charitable Trusts’ biomedical programs, including the biomedical scholars, Pew-Stewart Scholars for Cancer Research, and Latin American fellows programs


Indexed for PEW Trusts by Dragonfly Kingdom Library


Sexual activity played a protective effect, in both genders, on the quarantine-related plague of anxiety and mood disorders.

Posted on April 24, 2022 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)




Abstract

Background

The COVID-19–related lockdown has profoundly changed human behaviors and habits, impairing general and psychological well-being. Along with psychosocial consequences, it is possible that sexual behavior was also affected.

 

Aims

With the present study, we evaluated the impact of the community-wide containment and consequent social distancing on the intrapsychic, relational, and sexual health through standardized psychometric tools.

 

Methods

A case-control study was performed through a web-based survey and comparing subjects of both genders with (group A, N = 2,608) and without (group B, N = 4,213) sexual activity during lockdown. The Welch and chi-square tests were used to assess differences between groups. Univariate analysis of covariance, logistic regression models, and structural equation modeling were performed to measure influence and mediation effects of sexual activity on psychological, relational, and sexual outcomes.

 

Outcomes

Main outcome measures were General Anxiety Disorder-7 for anxiety, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 for depression, Dyadic Adjustment Scale for quality of relationship and a set of well-validated sexological inventories (International Index of Erectile Function, Female Sexual Function Index, and male-female versions of the Orgasmometer).

 

Results

Anxiety and depression scores were significantly lower in subjects sexually active during lockdown. Analysis of covariance identified gender, sexual activity, and living without partner during lockdown as significantly affecting anxiety and depression scores (P < .0001). Logistic regression models showed that lack of sexual activity during lockdown was associated with a significantly higher risk of developing anxiety and depression (OR: 1.32 [95% CI: 1.12 - 1.57, P < .001] and 1.34 [95% CI: 1.15 - 1.57, P < .0001], respectively). Structural equation modeling evidenced the protective role of sexual activity toward psychological distress (βmales = -0.18 and βfemales = -0.14), relational health (βmales = 0.26 and βfemales = 0.29) and sexual health, both directly (βmales = 0.43 and βfemales = 0.31), and indirectly (βmales = 0.13 and βfemales = 0.13).

 

Clinical translation

The demonstrated mutual influence of sexual health on psychological and relational health could direct the clinical community toward a reinterpretation of the relationship among these factors.


Strengths and limitations

Based on a large number of subjects and well-validated psychometric tools, this study elucidated the protective role of sexual activity for psychological distress, as well for relational and sexual health. Main limitations were the web-based characteristics of the protocol and the retrospective nature of prelockdown data on psychorelational and sexual health of subjects recruited


Conclusio

COVID-19 lockdown dramatically impacted on psychological, relational, and sexual health of the population. In this scenario, sexual activity played a protective effect, in both genders, on the quarantine-related plague of anxiety and mood disorders



Indexed for NIH by Dragonfly Kingdom Library

Mollaioli D, Sansone A, Ciocca G, et al. Benefits of Sexual Activity on Psychological, Relational, and Sexual Health During the COVID-19 Breakout. J Sex Med 2021;18:35–

9..ns.35–49.

Effect of niacin on erectile function in men suffering erectile dysfunction and dyslipidemia

Posted on March 8, 2022 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)



Abstract


Introduction: Dyslipidemia is closely related to erectile dysfunction (ED). Evidence has shown that the lipid-lowering agent, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitor (statins), can improve erectile function. However, information about the potential role of another class of lipid-lowering agent, niacin, is unknown.




Aim: To assess the effect of niacin alone on erectile function in patients suffering from both ED and dyslipidemia.


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Methods: A single center prospective randomized placebo-controlled parallel-group trial was conducted. One hundred sixty male patients with ED and dyslipidemia were randomized in a one-to-one ratio to receive up to 1,500 mg oral niacin daily or placebo for 12 weeks.


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Main outcome measures: The primary outcome measure was the improvement in erectile function as assessed by question 3 and question 4 of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF Q3 and Q4). Secondary outcome measurements included the total IIEF score, IIEF-erectile function domain, and Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) score.





 

Results: From the overall analysis, the niacin group showed a significant increase in both IIEF-Q3 scores (0.53 ± 1.18, P < 0.001) and IIEF-Q4 scores (0.35 ± 1.17, P = 0.013) compared with baseline values. The placebo group also showed a significant increase in IIEF-Q3 scores (0.30 ± 1.16, P = 0.040) but not IIEF-Q4 scores (0.24 ± 1.13, P = 0.084). However, when patients were stratified according to the baseline severity of ED, the patients with moderate and severe ED who received niacin showed a significant improvement in IIEF-Q3 scores (0.56 ± 0.96 [P = 0.037] and 1.03 ± 1.20 [P < 0.001], respectively) and IIEF-Q4 scores (0.56 ± 1.03 [P = 0.048] and 0.84 ± 1.05 [P < 0.001], respectively] compared with baseline values, but not for the placebo group. The improvement in IIEF-EF domain score for severe and moderate ED patients in the niacin group were 5.28 ± 5.94 (P < 0.001) and 3.31 ± 4.54 (P = 0.014) and in the placebo group were 2.65 ± 5.63 (P < 0.041) and 2.74 ± 5.59 (P = 0.027), respectively. There was no significant improvement in erectile function for patients with mild and mild-to-moderate ED for both groups. For patients not receiving statins treatment, there was a significant improvement in IIEF-Q3 scores (0.47 ± 1.16 [P = 0.004]) for the niacin group, but not for the placebo group.


 

Conclusions: Niacin alone can improve the erectile function in patients suffering from moderate to severe ED and dyslipidemia.


Indexed for NIH Pubmed by Dragonfly Kingdom Library

 

© 2011 International Society for Sexual Medicine

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21810191/




Vitamin-D is crucial for a better healthy body and sexual activity.

Posted on March 8, 2022 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)




Abstract


Literature support that vitamin-D is important for different systems of the human body including, but not limited to endocrine and immune systems, vasculature and endothelial function of the body. Male erectile function depends on many factors and can be perceived as a health indicator of the body. Epidemiological data have shown that vitamin-D deficiency is also associated with erectile dysfunction.



In this review, our aim is to interpret the mechanisms by which vitamin-D might regulate anatomy and physiology of penis. Evidence showed that vitamin-D is needed for an adequate erectile function. Briefly, vitamin-D is crucial for a better healthy body and sexual activity........



Indexed for NIH by Dragonfly Kingdom Library


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7752519/




Pituitary Conditions - It's Not All Depression!

Posted on March 8, 2022 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Lowered Mood in Pituitary Conditions - It's Not All Depression!




News Date 11/10/2021

By Dr Sue Jackson, Chartered Psychologist specialising in the impact and treatment of chronic health conditions.



 

 

One of the things that’s been annoying me for a very long time is the lazy way mental health problems tend to be described. It’s always the same two conditions that get mentioned: anxiety and depression. When I first started working in adult mental health, people would ask us not to put any mental health diagnosis on their notes. Attitudes have shifted and people are now more willing to admit to being stressed and, to a more limited extent, suffering with the various forms of anxiety, but attitudes towards being diagnosed with depression remain largely unchanged. It’s not a diagnosis that anyone wants – it’s seen as putting a question mark against your name that will negatively affect your employment opportunities, and is regarded by many as the first step on a steady descent into a forced stay in a mental health facility. Depression has become a kind of short-hand catch-all term encapsulating all the different experiences of lowered mood, but there are other terms which are far less stigmatising that we could usefully use instead, and this article describes the most common that people with pituitary conditions are likely to experience.

 

 



Most of my patients with chronic health conditions are adamant that they’re not depressed and are very confused and, in some cases, angry about the label they’ve been handed for the way they’re feeling. Some healthcare professionals will say that such patients are in denial, I would say that if they don’t recognise it then there’s probably something else going on and it’s my job to help find a more accurate description so that we can work together to improve things. I’m not alone in having these experiences with patients; back in 2005, Michael Weitzner, Steven Kanfer and Margaret Booth-Jones described how their pituitary patients with apathy syndrome, a neurobiological illness, tended to deny feeling depressed instead reporting chronic fatigue combined with a marked lack of motivation. Their paper makes the important point that the symptoms and reported patient experiences of depression, apathy and chronic fatigue overlap quite considerably. Indeed, just as in depression, patients with chronic fatigue (marked by non-restorative sleep) struggle with their memory and have problems concentrating (also known as brain fog). Chronic fatigue saps your enjoyment of life as you feel like you’re wading through treacle, and you just don’t have the energy to do the things you want to do. This overlap of symptoms and experiences with those of depression is something that is also true for the other possible terms of disappointment, demoralisation and despair that patients with pituitary conditions can experience.

 

 



Pituitary conditions can have a profound impact across all areas of someone’s life including, but not limited to, significant changes in their employment, relationships, and life prospects......


https://www.pituitary.org.uk/news/2021/10/lowered-mood-with-pituitary-conditions/



Exercise Improves Self-Reported Sexual Function Among Physically Active Adults

Posted on February 14, 2022 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)
Exercise Improves Self-Reported Sexual Function Among Physically Active Adults



Abstract


Background: Sexual dysfunction is common among adults and takes a toll on quality of life for both men and women.





Aim: To determine whether higher levels of weekly cardiovascular exercise are protective against self-reported sexual dysfunction among men and women.








Methods: We conducted an international online, cross-sectional survey of physically active men and women between April and December 2016, assessing exercise activity categorized into sextiles of weekly metabolic equivalent-hours. Odds ratios (ORs) of sexual dysfunction for each activity sextile compared with the lowest sextile were calculated using multivariable logistic regression, controlling for age, body mass index, diabetes mellitus, tobacco/alcohol use, sport, and marital status.




Main outcome measures: Female sexual dysfunction was defined as a score ≤26.55 on the Female Sexual Function Inventory and erectile dysfunction (ED) was defined as a score ≤21 on the Sexual Health Inventory for Men.



Results: 3,906 men and 2,264 women (median age 41-45 and 31-35 years, respectively) met the inclusion criteria for the study. Men in sextiles 2-6 had reduced odds of ED compared with the reference sextile in adjusted analysis (Ptrend = .03), with an OR of 0.77 (95% CI = 0.61-0.97) for sextile 4 and 0.78 (95% CI = 0.62-0.99) for sextile 6, both statistically significant. Women in higher sextiles had a reduced adjusted OR of female sexual dysfunction (Ptrend = .02), which was significant in sextile 4 (OR = 0.70; 95% CI = 0.51-0.96). A similar pattern held true for orgasm dissatisfaction (Ptrend < .01) and arousal difficulty (Ptrend < .01) among women, with sextiles 4-6 reaching statistical significance in both.


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Clinical implications: Men and women at risk for sexual dysfunction regardless of physical activity level may benefit by exercising more rigorously.

Strengths & limitations: Strengths include using a large international sample of participants with a wide range of physical activity levels. Limitations include the cross-sectional design, and results should be interpreted in context of the study population of physically active adults.


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Conclusion: Higher cardiovascular exercise levels in physically active adults are inversely associated with ED by self-report in men and protective against female sexual dysfunction in women. Fergus KB, Gaither TW, Baradaran N, et al. Exercise Improves Self-Reported Sexual Function Among Physically Active Adults. J Sex Med 2019;16:1236-1245.

Keywords: Arousal; Erectile Dysfunction; Exercise; Female Sexual Dysfunction; Metabolic Equivalents; Orgasm.


Indexed for NIH Pubmed by Dragonfly Kingdom Library
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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Creating New Communities: Marco Andre joins Foundation For Intentional Community as Affiliate Agent. - True Sustainability Initiative at Dragonfly Kingdom Library/Dragonfly Kingdom International Service Agency

Posted on December 10, 2021 at 3:40 AM Comments comments (0)



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At a time when too many of us feel isolated and alone, intentional communities offer more sustainable and just ways of living together. The Foundation for Intentional Community (FIC) has over 35 years of service to a growing movement of people joining and building intentional communities.




Role of High Physical Fitness in Deterioration of Male Sexual Function . - Dragonfly Kingdom Library

Posted on November 16, 2021 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)



Abstract



Male sexual function is regulated by vascular function and impaired vascular function is closely related with erectile dysfunction (ED). Vascular functions are positively influenced by physical fitness (i.e., aerobic capacity, muscle strength, and flexibility). The detailed associations between physical fitness and male sexual function remain poorly understood. The present study aimed to clarify the influence of physical fitness on male sexual function.



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In 177 adult men, peak oxygen consumption (VO2 peak), handgrip strength (HGS), and sit and reach were measured as indices of physical fitness. Arterial stiffness and erectile function were assessed by carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) and the International Index of Erectile Function 5 (IIEF5) questionnaire, respectively. IIEF5 score was significantly correlated with VO2 peak (rs = 0.52), HGS (rs = 0.37), and cfPWV (rs = −0.44); and multivariate linear regression analyses showed that VO2 peak, HGS, and cfPWV were significantly associated with IIEF5 score after considering confounders.


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The receiver operator characteristic curve analysis suggested that the cutoff values for predicting ED were 29.0 ml/min/kg for VO2 peak and 39.3 kg for HGS. The IIEF5 score was the highest in the subjects with the values of both VO2 peak and HGS were higher than their respective cutoff values, while the IIEF5 score was the lowest in the subjects with the values of both VO2 peak and HGS were lower than their respective cutoff values. These results suggest that the maintenance of high aerobic capacity and muscular strength may offset deterioration of male sexual function.


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Erectile dysfunction (ED), defined as the inability to attain or maintain penile erection that is sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance (Yafi et al., 2016), is a common clinical problem worldwide. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study identified that the prevalence of mild-to-moderate ED is 52% in men aged 40–70 years (Feldman, Goldstein, Hatzichristou, Krane, & McKinlay, 1994), which suggests that ED is widely prevalent among middle-aged and elderly men.




ED has been previously reported to be associated with depressive symptoms (Nelson, Mulhall, & Roth, 2011) and has been observed to affect the quality of life (QOL) negatively (Yafi et al., 2016). In addition, a previous meta-analysis has revealed that men with ED exhibited 48% higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) than men without ED (Dong, Zhang, & Qin, 2011). The assessment of male sexual function and prevention of age-related deterioration of male sexual function are necessary for better QOL and for preventing occurrence of CVD in future.





 

Erectile function is regulated by vascular function and impaired vascular function is closely related with deterioration of male sexual function.......


Indexed for NIH / American Journal of Men's Health by Dragonfly Kingdom Library 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6509982/


Physical exercise improves erectile function in young and middle-aged men. - Dragonfly Kingdom Library

Posted on November 16, 2021 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)



Abstract

Objective: To assess the association between physical exercise and erectile function in young and middle-aged men.

 


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Methods: Using Paffenbarger Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ) and IIEF-15, we conducted an investigation among 30- to 45-year-old male outpatients at the clinic of urology. Based on the physical activity described in PPAQ, the patients were divided into a sedentary group (≤ 1,400 Kcal/wk) and an exercise group (> 1,400 Kcal/wk).

 




Results: The total score on IIEF-15 was signifi- cantly higher in the exercise group than in the sedentary group (62.2 vs 54.4), and so were the scores on the domains of erectile func- tion (26.4 vs 23.3), sexual desire (7.8 vs 6.9), orgasmic function (9.0 vs 8.3), intercourse satisfaction (11.5 vs 9.6), and overall satisfaction (7.5 vs 6.3) (all P < 0.05).

 




Conclusion: Increased physical activity is associated with better sexual function in young and middle-aged men 


Indexed for NIH Pubmed by Dragonfly Kingdom Library 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25597174/



Exercise is associated with better erectile function in men under 40. - Dragonfly Kingdom Library

Posted on November 16, 2021 at 5:50 AM Comments comments (0)



Abstract


Introduction: Studies have shown an association between erectile dysfunction and sedentary lifestyle in middle-aged men, with a direct correlation between increased physical activity and improved erectile function. Whether or not this relationship is present in young, healthy men has yet to be demonstrated.

Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the association between physical activity and erectile function in young, healthy men.

Main outcome measures: The primary end points for our study were: (i) differences in baseline scores of greater than one point per question for the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF); (ii) differences in baseline scores of greater than one point per question for each domain of the IIEF; (iii) exercise energy expenditure; and (iv) predictors of dysfunction as seen on the IIEF.

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Methods: The participants were men between the ages of 18 and 40 years old at an academic urology practice. Patients self-administered the Paffenbarger Physical Activity Questionnaire and the IIEF. Patients were stratified by physical activity into two groups: a sedentary group (≤1,400 calories/week) and an active group (>1,400 calories/week). Men presenting for the primary reason of erectile dysfunction or Peyronie's disease were excluded.

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Results: Seventy-eight patients had complete information in this study: 27 patients (34.6%) in the sedentary group (≤1,400 kcal/week) and 51 patients (65.4%) in the active group (>1,400 kcal/week). Sedentary lifestyle was associated with increased dysfunction in the following domains of the IIEF: erectile function (44.4% vs. 21.6%, P = 0.04), orgasm function (44.4% vs. 17.7%, P = 0.01), intercourse satisfaction (59.3% vs. 35.3%, P = 0.04), and overall satisfaction (63.0% vs. 35.3%, P = 0.02). There was a trend toward more dysfunction in the sedentary group for total score on the IIEF (44.4% vs. 23.5%, P = 0.057), while sexual desire domain scores were similar in both groups (51.9% vs. 41.2%, P = 0.37).




Conclusions: We have demonstrated that increased physical activity is associated with better sexual function measured by a validated questionnaire in a young, healthy population. Further studies are needed on the long-term effects of exercise, or lack thereof, on erectile function as these men age.

Indexed for NIH Pubmed by Dragonfly Kingdom Library 

© 2011 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

Effects of Short-Term Inhalation of Patchouli Oil on Professional Quality of Life and Stress Levels. - Bright Star Apothecary Harm Reduction Initiative Research at Dragonfly Kingdom Library

Posted on November 13, 2021 at 3:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Effects of Short-Term Inhalation of Patchouli Oil

on Professional Quality of Life and Stress Levels

in Emergency Nurses:

A Randomized Controlled Trial

You Kyoung Shin, MS,1,* So-Young Lee, MS,1,* Jeong-Min Lee, PhD,2

Purum Kang, PhD,1,3 and Geun Hee Seol, PhD1




Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of patchouli (Pogostemon cablin Benth.)

inhalation by emergency nurses on their stress, compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, burnout, blood

pressure, and heart rate.

Design: A randomized controlled trial.

Setting/location: University hospital in Incheon.

Subjects: This study was performed from May to August 2018 after all subjects provided written informed

consent. Fifty eligible emergency nurses were recruited and randomly allocated to inhale 5% patchouli oil in

sweet almond oil (patchouli group, n = 25) or pure sweet almond oil (control group, n = 25).

Interventions: Nurses in the patchouli group first inhaled patchouli oil at about 10 pm (the end of an afternoon

shift) and inhaled patchouli oil a second time at about 10 pm on next day (24-h interval). Nurses in the control

group inhaled pure sweet almond oil following the same schedule.

Outcome measures: Outcome measured included blood pressure, heart rate, levels of stress, compassion

satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout.

Results: Although there were no significant differences in blood pressure, heart rate, compassion fatigue, and

burnout, levels of stress were significantly lower (0.06 – 0.48 vs. 1.19 – 1.19, p < 0.001) and compassion sat-

isfaction significantly higher (0.56 – 2.50 vs. -2.84 – 2.43, p < 0.001) in the patchouli than in the control group.

In addition, relative to baseline, compassion fatigue was significantly lower in the patchouli group (26.72 – 4.98

vs. 25.88 – 4.63, p = 0.016).



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Conclusions: Inhalation of patchouli oil effectively reduced the levels of stress and increased compassion

satisfaction in emergency nurses, suggesting that patchouli oil inhalation may improve the professional quality

of life of emergency nurses. ClinicalTrials.gov ID: KCT0004615.

Keywords: patchouli, emergency nurses, stress, compassion satisfaction

Increased gray matter volume in the right angular and posterior parahippocampal gyri in loving-kindness meditators. - Dragonfly Kingdom Library

Posted on November 9, 2021 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)




Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 8, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 34–39, https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nss076
Published: 16 October 2012 Article history


Abstract

Previous voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies have revealed that meditation is associated with structural brain changes in regions underlying cognitive processes that are required for attention or mindfulness during meditation. This VBM study examined brain changes related to the practice of an emotion-oriented meditation: loving-kindness meditation (LKM). A 3 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner captured images of the brain structures of 25 men, 10 of whom had practiced LKM in the Theravada tradition for at least 5 years. Compared with novices, more gray matter volume was detected in the right angular and posterior parahippocampal gyri in LKM experts. The right angular gyrus has not been previously reported to have structural differences associated with meditation, and its specific role in mind and cognitive empathy theory suggests the uniqueness of this finding for LKM practice. These regions are important for affective regulation associated with empathic response, anxiety and mood. At the same time, gray matter volume in the left temporal lobe in the LKM experts appeared to be greater, an observation that has also been reported in previous MRI meditation studies on meditation styles other than LKM. Overall, the findings of our study suggest that experience in LKM may influence brain structures associated with affective regulation.

Indexed for Oxford Academic by Dragonfly Kingdom Library 


Empathizing associates with mean diffusivity. - Dragonfly Kingdom Library

Posted on November 9, 2021 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)



Abstract



Empathizing is defined as "the drive to identify another's mental states and to respond to these with an appropriate emotion" and systemizing is defined as "the drive to the drive to analyze and construct rule-based systems". While mean diffusivity (MD) has been robustly associated with several cognitive traits and disorders related with empathizing and systemizing, its direct correlation with empathizing and systemizing remains to be investigated. We undertook voxel-by-voxel investigations of regional MD to discover microstructural correlates of empathizing, systemizing, and the discrepancy between them (D score: systemizing - empathizing). Whole-brain analyses of covariance revealed that across both sexes, empathizing was positively correlated with MD of (a) an anatomical cluster that primarily spreads in the areas in and adjacent to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, left anterior to the middle cingulate cortex, and left insula and (b) an anatomical cluster of the left postcentral gyrus and left rolandic operculum. The former overlaps with positive MD correlates of cooperativeness. The D score and systemizing did not show significant correlations. In conclusion, while increased MD has generally been associated with reduced neural tissues and possibly area function, higher empathizing and cooperativeness were commonly reflected by greater MD values in areas (a) that mainly overlap with areas that play a key role in emotional salience and empathy. In addition, higher empathizing was correlated with greater MD values in areas (b) that play a key role in the mirror neuron system.


Indexed for NIH Pubmed by Dragonfly Kingdom Library 


https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31222093/

Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. - Dragonfly Kingdom Library

Posted on November 9, 2021 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Abstract

Therapeutic interventions that incorporate training in mindfulness meditation have become increasingly popular, but to date, little is known about neural mechanisms associated with these interventions. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), one of the most widely used mindfulness training programs, has been reported to produce positive effects on psychological well-being and to ameliorate symptoms of a number of disorders. Here, we report a controlled longitudinal study to investigate pre-post changes in brain gray matter concentration attributable to participation in an MBSR program. Anatomical MRI images from sixteen healthy, meditation-naïve participants were obtained before and after they underwent the eight-week program. Changes in gray matter concentration were investigated using voxel-based morphometry, and compared to a wait-list control group of 17 individuals. Analyses in a priori regions of interest confirmed increases in gray matter concentration within the left hippocampus. Whole brain analyses identified increases in the posterior cingulate cortex, the temporo-parietal junction, and the cerebellum in the MBSR group compared to the controls. The results suggest that participation in MBSR is associated with changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.

 

Keywords: meditation, mindfulness, voxel based morphometry, gray matter, longitudinal, hippocampus, posterior cingulate...... 


Indexed for NIH by Dragonfly Kingdom Library 


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004979/#!po=0.304878

Here we provide the first empirical evidence for structural abnormalities in fronto-paralimbic brain regions of patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. - Dragonfly Kingdom Library

Posted on November 9, 2021 at 3:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Abstract

Background

Despite the relevance of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) in clinical settings, there is currently no empirical data available regarding the neurobiological correlates of NPD. In the present study, we performed a voxel-based morphometric analysis to provide initial insight into local abnormalities of gray matter (GM) volume.

 

Methods

Structural brain images were obtained from patients with NPD (n = 17) and a sample of healthy controls (n = 17) matched regarding age, gender, handedness, and intelligence. Groups were compared with regard to global brain tissue volumes and local abnormalities of GM volume. Regions-of-interest analyses were calculated for the anterior insula.

 

Results

Relative to the control group, NPD patients had smaller GM volume in the left anterior insula. Independent of group, GM volume in the left anterior insula was positively related to self-reported emotional empathy. Complementary whole-brain analyses yielded smaller GM volume in fronto-paralimbic brain regions comprising the rostral and median cingulate cortex as well as dorsolateral and medial parts of the prefrontal cortex.

 

Conclusion

Here we provide the first empirical evidence for structural abnormalities in fronto-paralimbic brain regions of patients with NPD. The results are discussed in the context of NPD patients' restricted ability for emotional empathy.


Indexed for Science Direct / Elsevier by Dragonfly Kingdom Library

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S002239561300157X?via%3Dihub