Meditation is beneficial for patients with ALS

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Meditation

Scientists have shown through a randomized clinical trial that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-specific meditation programme is beneficial for the quality of life and psychological well-being of people with ALS.

Published in the European Journal of Neurology are the findings of a study wherein it was concluded that an eight-week mindfulness-based meditation program led to improved quality of life and psychological well-being in people with ALS.

The study was a randomised, open-label and controlled clinical trial that included 100 patients, participants who underwent meditation training scored higher on a questionnaire specifically developed to assess quality of life in people with ALS. The purpose of the current study was to examine the use of an ALS-specific mindfulness-based intervention for improving quality of life in this population.

Participants reported lower levels of anxiety and depression. These results remained stable, when not further improved, over a 12-month follow-up.

“There has been very limited investigation on psychological interventions that can promote quality of life in people with ALS. I found that very strange, as we are not able to cure the disease, but we all agree that the promotion of quality of life is the current main goal in ALS cases,” said Dr. Francesco Pagnini, lead author of the European Journal of Neurology study. “This is the first controlled trial in this field, suggesting that a mindfulness-based intervention can be a very important tool to increase the well-being of people with ALS.”

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