Karishma Smart*, Raymon Durso, Jonathan Morgan and Patrick McNamaraA potential case of remissionof Parkinson’s diseaseDOI 10.1515/jcim-2016
The patient meditates for at least 30 minutes daily using a practice called“centering prayer”, which he learned during his brief time as a postulate in a Franciscan monastery, 37 years ago. In this technique,he focuses his mind on a single religious word to reach a meditative state. He states that he feels less“PD-like”when he meditates so he began to reinvest energy in his meditation practice after his PD onset. There are numerous possibilities that may account for this symptom remission, such as a previously uncharacterized disease progression, an unusually positive response to Levodopa, or the therapeutic contributions of healthy lifestyle habits. One possibility that we would like to bring to the attention of the reader is that the increased intensity of the patient’s meditation practice may have contributed to his improvement in parkinsonian signs and symptoms in the absence of medication. One study found that, during Kundalini meditation, putamen activation significantly increase using fMRI . This is a salient attestation of our suggestion as the Hindu yogic practice of Kundalini meditation is based on a similar principle to“centering prayer”, where practitioners maintain attention on a single word to reach a meditative state . Furthermore, the Kundalini study participants had been regular meditators for only four years,where as this patient has practiced a similar technique for nearly 40 years . This patient’s consistent,meditation-induced activation of the putamen for so many decades could have increased its dopaminergic tone, counteracting the DA loss of PD, and thus possibly contributing in part to the remission of his symptoms.