Research Update

December 1, 2023 by

Mindfulness-Based Interventions Lead to Brain Structural Changes

This study investigated whether structural brain changes occur following mindfulness-based interventions. The authors conducted a meta-analysis including a total of 11 randomized controlled trials with 581 participants. The primary outcomes assessed were whole-brain grey matter or cortical thickness changes. One significant change (p < 0.001, cluster size = 632 mm3) emerged in the right insula and precentral gyrus region with structural volume increases in the intervention group compared to controls. Behavioral analysis showed that the cluster was associated with the mental processes of attention and somesthesis (pain). These results suggest that mindfulness-based interventions have the ability to affect neural plasticity in brain areas associated with improved pain modulation and increased sustained attention. The authors concluded that these results support the long-term benefits and neuropsychological basis of mindfulness-based interventions.

Siew S, Yu J. Scientific Reports. 2023;13:18469.


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