Results of a recent study presented at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine suggest that transcendental meditation may be an effective alternative remedy for people suffering from depression.
For the study, a research team from the Charles Drew University in Los Angeles and University of Hawaii in Kohala recruited a large group of adult patients over the age of 55 who were at high risk for heart disease, and had them undergo a clinical test for depression.
Respondents were then randomly assigned to participate in transcendental meditation classes or health education courses for a period of nine to 12 months.
At the time of follow-up, patients who showed indications of clinically significant depression decreased their symptoms by an average of 48 percent compared to those enrolled in the control group.
"The importance of reducing depression in the elderly at risk for heart disease cannot be overestimated," said Gary Kaplan, clinical associate professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine. "Any technique not involving extra medication in this population is a welcome addition."