Meditation for chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction

5 Nov

A paper published in Psycho-Oncology looked at meditation as an intervention for chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction in breast cancer patients. The form of meditation was Tibetan sound meditation (TSM)

This seems to be a well designed randomized study that used widely accepted outcome measures.

From the abstract:

“Results
Relative to the control group, women in the TSM group performed better on the verbal memory test (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test trial 1) (p = 0.06) and the short-term memory and processing speed task (Digit Symbol) (p = 0.09) and reported improved cognitive function (p = 0.06), cognitive abilities (p = 0.08), mental health (p = 0.04), and spirituality (p = 0.05) at the end of treatment but not 1 month later.

Conclusions
This randomized controlled trial revealed that TSM program appears to be a feasible and acceptable intervention and may be associated with short-term improvements in objective and subjective cognitive function as well as mental health and spirituality in breast cancer”

Tibetan sound meditation is described this way:

“The TSM program consists of two main components as follows: (i) breathing, awareness, and concentration techniques and (ii) visualization and sound exercises. There are three separate, yet interrelated, stages for the visualization and sound exercises. Each stage consists of a different cognitive activity and corresponds to a ‘healing sound’ (i.e., Ah, Om, and Hoong), location in the body (i.e., forehead, throat, and heart),and a specific color (i.e., white, red, and blue) in the form of light to help focus their attention.”

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