Suzanne M. Bertisch, MD, MPH,is a general internist fellowship-trained in clinical research, who possesses a long-standing interest in mind-body therapies. Her long-term goal is to develop an independent research career studying the physiological effects of meditative techniques and developing targeted evidence-based mind-body therapies in populations with increased cardiovascular risk. Her immediate goal is to acquire knowledge and skills in autonomic cardiovascular physiology and mind-body clinical trial methodology. Dr. Bertisch's proposed career development plan includes: 1) acquiring laboratory measurement and data analytic skills in cardiopulmonary physiology;2) gaining experience in the conduct of mind-body medicine clinical trials;3) improving her knowledge of physiology, biostatistics, and study design through formal didactics;and 4) regular interaction with her mentors and expert collaborative team. This proposal includes two projects that focus on characterizing the acute and long-term effects of mind-body slow breathing (MBSB) upon autonomic activity. Despite efforts by several groups, much remains unknown about the acute effects of MBSB on sympathetic activity and the sustained adaptations in autonomic tone evoked by repetitive practice of MBSB. The candidate plans to: 1) compare the differential cardiovascular and autonomic effects of MBSB among long-term mind-body practitioners and non-practitioners in an acute cross-sectional study;2) evaluate the feasibility of conducting a 12-week randomized controlled trial measuring the effects of MBSB upon autonomic activity and blood pressure in non-practitioners with obesity and high blood pressure;and obtain preliminary data for future more definitive studies. Both projects will be among the first to use modern measurement and analytic techniques, including a direct measure of sympathetic nerve activity. Completion of the proposed research and training plan will enhance Dr. Bertisch's ability to conduct patient-oriented mind-body research, further her understanding of autonomic cardiovascular physiology, and allow her to achieve her career goal of becoming an independent clinical researcher investigating the physiological mechanisms and clinical applications of mind-body therapies.

Public Health Relevance

(Seeinstructions): Findings from this proposal will provide important information for future clinical and mechanistic studies of mind-body therapies, particularly in cardiovascular disease populations, such as hypertension. A better understanding of the clinical benefits and mechanisms of mind-body-breathing practices will assist the development of targeted mind-body based treatments for lowering blood pressure.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1-LD (28))
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Glowa, John R
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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
United States
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Bertisch, Suzanne M; Muresan, Cristen; Schoerning, Laura et al. (2016) Impact of Restless Legs Syndrome on Cardiovascular Autonomic Control. Sleep 39:565-71
Buettner, Catherine; Nir, Rony-Reuven; Bertisch, Suzanne M et al. (2015) Simvastatin and vitamin D for migraine prevention: A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Neurol 78:970-81
Bertisch, Suzanne M; Sillau, Stefan; de Boer, Ian H et al. (2015) 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration and Sleep Duration and Continuity: Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Sleep 38:1305-11
Morioka, Travis Y; Lee, Alice J; Bertisch, Suzanne et al. (2015) Vitamin D status modifies the association between statin use and musculoskeletal pain: a population based study. Atherosclerosis 238:77-82
Bertisch, Suzanne M; Herzig, Shoshana J; Winkelman, John W et al. (2014) National use of prescription medications for insomnia: NHANES 1999-2010. Sleep 37:343-9
Bertisch, Suzanne M; Wells, Rebecca Erwin; Smith, Michael T et al. (2012) Use of relaxation techniques and complementary and alternative medicine by American adults with insomnia symptoms: results from a national survey. J Clin Sleep Med 8:681-91
Wells, Rebecca Erwin; Bertisch, Suzanne M; Buettner, Catherine et al. (2011) Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults with migraines/severe headaches. Headache 51:1087-97
Bertisch, Suzanne M; Schomer, Ashley; Kelly, Erin E et al. (2011) Device-guided paced respiration as an adjunctive therapy for hypertension in obstructive sleep apnea: a pilot feasibility study. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback 36:173-9