Monday, March 21, 2016

Endorphins do not mediate the pain reduction produced by mediatation

For a while I have suspected that endorphins are not the only or the healthiest way in which the body decreases pain. This recent study lends support to that idea. It shows that mindfulness meditation reduces pain. However, when the subjects that were meditating were given injections of naloxone (an opioid antagonist that would block the effect of the endorphins) it did not decrease the pain reduction induced by meditation. Quite the opposite, it even increased it!

J Neurosci. 2016 Mar 16;36(11):3391-7. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4328-15.2016. 
Mindfulness-Meditation-Based Pain Relief Is Not Mediated by Endogenous Opioids.
Zeidan F1, Adler-Neal AL2, Wells RE3, Stagnaro E4, May LM5, Eisenach JC6, McHaffie JG2, Coghill RC7

Citation and abstract in PubMed:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26985045

The whole article can be read here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ue3dwws1vepiywb/Zeidan2016JNeuroscienceMeditationPain.pdf?dl=0