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  Serum BDNF increase and the role of cortisol reduction following contemplative mental training

Puhlmann, L. M., Vrticka, P., Linz, R., Papassotiriou, I., Chrousos, G. P., Engert, V., et al. (2021). Serum BDNF increase and the role of cortisol reduction following contemplative mental training. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 131(Suppl.): 105510. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105510.

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 Creators:
Puhlmann, Lara M.1, 2, Author              
Vrticka, Pascal2, 3, Author              
Linz, Roman2, Author              
Papassotiriou, I.4, Author
Chrousos, G. P.5, Author
Engert, Veronika2, 6, Author              
Singer, Tania1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR), Mainz, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Research Group Social Stress and Family Health, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_3025667              
3Department of Psychology, University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Clinical Biochemistry, "Aghia Sofia" General Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece, ou_persistent22              
5Department of Social Neuroscience, Institute of Psychosocial Medicine and Psychotherapy, Jena University Hospital, Germany, ou_persistent22              
6Social Neuroscience Lab, Jena, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: Chronic stress exposure reduces expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in animal and disease models. The stress-hormone cortisol has an antagonistic relationship with BDNF and may be implicated in this process. Previous work including our own suggests that contemplative mental training interventions like mindfulness-based stress reduction can effectively reduce acute and long-term cortisol exposure. As part of the ReSource Project, we investigated whether a nine months long contemplative mental training intervention increases serum BDNF levels. 332 healthy adults were randomly assigned to either a control or an intervention group. Training consisted of three distinct 3-month long modules focusing on 1) attention and interoception, 2) socio-affective skills or 3) socio-cognitive skills. Linear mixed model analyses revealed a significant time-by-training-condition interaction (Chi2(7) = 28.2, p <.001, ω2 = 0.04). BDNF levels in the control cohort followed an unstable pattern. In the training cohorts, BDNF levels increased over the first three months of attention and interoception-based training. At six and nine months of training, they stabilized or continued to increase depending on the cohort. Mediation analyses revealed a small indirect effect of training on BDNF via lowered cortisol levels in hair. Associations with further stress-related indices were explored. Mental training may enhance peripheral BDNF levels in part by reducing participants’ stress load.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2022-01-172021-09
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105510
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Title: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Oxford : Pergamon
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 131 (Suppl.) Sequence Number: 105510 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0306-4530
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925514499