Author: Black DS1, Christodoulou G2, Cole S3
1Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States; Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States.
3Department of Medicine and Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States.
Conference/Journal: Curr Opin Psychol.
Date published: 2019 Jul 11
Other: Volume ID: 28 , Pages: 302-306 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2019.06.004. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 176
Recent research in functional genomics shows that social stressors affect the expression of immune response genes. These effects are mediated in part via our adaptive capacity for intracellular molecules to respond to extracellular signals, a process called signal transduction. Under this framework, one-way stressors can be transduced into cellular changes is through central nervous system (CNS) modulation of peripheral neural, endocrine, and molecular activity. Mindfulness meditation is a consciousness discipline used to cultivate attention and self-regulation, and may thus be relevant to the signal transduction process outlined in the social genomics literature. In this opinion article, we briefly review results from existing controlled trials that test the effects of mindfulness meditation on gene expression. We then speculate on a mind-body conceptual model, grounded in existing social genomics theory. In the spirit of hypothesis generation, we argue that mindfulness meditation changes brain activity patterns related to attention, self-regulation, and threat evaluation and so may alter the signal transduction process that regulates the expression of immune response genes.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMID: 31352296 DOI: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2019.06.004