The long term objectives of this project are to generate knowledge through basic and clinical research on the relaxation response (RR), a physiological mind/body state opposite to that of stress that is characterized by decreased metabolism, blood pressure, heart and respiratory rates, slower brain waves and specific changes in brain activity. Since over 60% of patient visits to health care professionals in the US are related to stress and, since the RR has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for stress-related disorders (such as hypertension, pain and mood disturbances), the biochemical, molecular and genomic bases of the RR should be better understood as well as should its clinical applications. This project is designed to improve the quality of life that has been adversely affected by stress as put forth in Healthy People 2000 and 2010. Current Specific Aims: Through a series of randomized, controlled, prospective investigations, we plan to extend further the results of our ongoing projects that include the RR's effects on: Project 1- brain mechanisms including plasticity and specific brain regions as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging. Project 2- the molecular (nitric oxide), and biochemical (epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol, ACTH, cytokines) parameters that counteract the effects of acute stress in healthy adults. Project 3- the molecular (nitric oxide), and biochemical (epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol, ACTH, cytokines) parameters that counteract the effects of acute stress in the elderly. Project 4- hypertension in elderly patients and on the reduction of their anti hypertensive medications. Project 5- the genomic, molecular and biochemical parameters in healthy adults with either long-term or limited RR experience.
Other specific aims i nclude the initiation of 2 pilot projects that are also both randomized, controlled, prospective investigations and include the RR's effects on: Project 6- the frequency of seizures and biochemical parameters (cortisol and cytokines) in refractory epilepsy. Project 7- the quality of life including menopausal symptoms, and mood states as well as biochemical parameters in survivors of breast cancer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Chronic Disease Prev and Health Promo (NCCDPHP)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDP1-FXR (MB))
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Sims, Joyner
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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
United States
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