Short-term mindfulness-based therapy significantly improves quality of life and reduces anxiety and seizures in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, researchers in Hong Kong report.
Their new study shows that patients with epilepsy receiving mindfulness therapy in addition to information and education fared better than those who received only social support.
The study drives home the point that epilepsy involves more than just seizures, the researchers say.
“It showed that mindfulness can improve well-being and reduce seizure frequency and it could easily be included in the treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy,” said lead author Venus Tang, PhD, a clinical psychologist in the Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Because the study also showed that support and education improved patients’ quality of life, these, too, should be included in primary epilepsy care, she said.
The study was published in the September 29 issue of Neurology.
Mindfulness is a form of mental meditation that in recent years has been incorporated into psychotherapy. “It cultivates self-awareness of bodily conditions, here-and-now emotions, feelings and thoughts, using a nonjudgmental attitude, leading to an acceptance of who we are and what we are experiencing,” explained Dr Tang.
Evidence suggests that practicing mindfulness has a wide range of possible health benefits, including improvements in mental well-being, physical conditions (such as chronic pain), and cognitive functions (such as learning).
The new study included 60 adult patients with epilepsy resistant to antiepileptic drug treatment, none of whom had practiced meditation. Their mean age was about 35 years.
CONTINUES AT SOURCE: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/852133