Transcendental meditation: A double-edged sword in epilepsy?

Ephraim Philip Lansky, Erik K St Louis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Transcendental Meditation (TM®) is derived from ancient yogic teachings. Both short- and long-term physiological correlates of TM® practice have been studied. EEG effects include increased alpha, theta, and gamma frequencies and increased coherence and synchrony. Neuronal hypersynchrony is also a cardinal feature of epilepsy, and subjective psychic symptoms, apnea, and myoclonic jerking are characteristic of both epileptic seizures and meditative states. Clinical vignettes have highlighted the potential risk of human kindling from repetitive meditation in persons practicing TM®, but clinical studies of similar techniques suggest that meditation may also be a potential antiepileptic therapy. Future clinical studies of meditating subjects using video/EEG monitoring are warranted to determine whether behavioral phenomena have an underlying epileptic basis, and prospective clinical trials of TM® in subjects with well-delineated epilepsy syndromes are necessary to establish the safety of this technique and its potential efficacy for seizure reduction and improvement of quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-400
Number of pages7
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Meditation
Epilepsy
Electroencephalography
Myoclonus
Apnea
Anticonvulsants
Teaching
Seizures
Quality of Life
Clinical Trials
Safety

Keywords

  • γ-Aminobutyric acid
  • Apnea
  • Asana
  • Coherence
  • Maharishi
  • Meditation
  • Pranayama
  • Siddhis
  • Sidhis
  • Synchrony
  • Vedas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology

Cite this

Transcendental meditation : A double-edged sword in epilepsy? / Lansky, Ephraim Philip; St Louis, Erik K.

In: Epilepsy and Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 3, 11.2006, p. 394-400.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lansky, Ephraim Philip ; St Louis, Erik K. / Transcendental meditation : A double-edged sword in epilepsy?. In: Epilepsy and Behavior. 2006 ; Vol. 9, No. 3. pp. 394-400.
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