Alterations in brain and immune function...


Senior Member
Not sure if this has been posted or not...

Psychosom Med. 2003 Jul-Aug;65(4):564-70.

Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation.

Davidson RJ, Kabat-Zinn J, Schumacher J, Rosenkranz M, Muller D, Santorelli SF, Urbanowski F, Harrington A, Bonus K, Sheridan JF.

Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.

OBJECTIVE: The underlying changes in biological processes that are associated with reported changes in mental and physical health in response to meditation have not been systematically explored. We performed a randomized, controlled study on the effects on brain and immune function of a well-known and widely used 8-week clinical training program in mindfulness meditation applied in a work environment with healthy employees.

METHODS: We measured brain electrical activity before and immediately after, and then 4 months after an 8-week training program in mindfulness meditation. Twenty-five subjects were tested in the meditation group. A wait-list control group (N = 16) was tested at the same points in time as the meditators. At the end of the 8-week period, subjects in both groups were vaccinated with influenza vaccine.

RESULTS: We report for the first time significant increases in left-sided anterior activation, a pattern previously associated with positive affect, in the meditators compared with the nonmeditators. We also found significant increases in antibody titers to influenza vaccine among subjects in the meditation compared with those in the wait-list control group. Finally, the magnitude of increase in left-sided activation predicted the magnitude of antibody titer rise to the vaccine.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate that a short program in mindfulness meditation produces demonstrable effects on brain and immune function. These findings suggest that meditation may change brain and immune function in positive ways and underscore the need for additional research.

PMID: 12883106 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Good find dan!

Particularly like that this has implications for meditation, vaccines and the immune system.

Kabat-Zinn J is the 2nd author of the study. Think that's Jon, "Ph.D and internationally known for his work as a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher" - author of one of my favourite sayings " wherever you go, there you are".

Here's his website: (looks like he and his wife have become a meditation tape and book empire)

The study was done in 2003. The bio lists some other studies he was involved with prior to that. Wonder what else is out there by others - especially since then.

Back to Jon, his bio states

Dr. Kabat-Zinn received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from MIT in 1971 with the Nobel Laureate in physiology and medicine, Salvador Luria. Dr. Kabat-Zinn's research between 1979 and 2002 focused on

mind/body interactions for healing,

on various clinical applications of mindfulness meditation training for people with chronic pain and/or stress-related disorders,

on the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on the brain and how it processes emotions, particularly under stress, and on the immune system;

on the use and effects of MBSR with women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer;

on patients undergoing bone marrow transplant;

with prison inmates and staff ( view PDF);

in multicultural settings;

and on stress in various corporate settings and work environments.
(my bolds and spacing)

so - back to my meditation...............



Senior Member
Victoria, BC
meditating meditation...

Thanks, Dannybex and Islandfinn, you have spurred me on to try meditation more seriously this time--thanks! Chris