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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 273-280

Alterations of regional cerebral glucose metabolism using18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography/computed tomography and electroencephalography analysis during mindfulness breathing in Anapanasati meditation: A preliminary analysis


1 National Cyclotron and PET Centre, Chulabhorn Hospital, Chulabhorn Royal Academy, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Department of Radiology, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University Biomedical Imaging Group, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
3 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Chanisa Chotipanich
National Cyclotron and PET Centre, Chulabhorn Hospital, Chulabhorn Royal Academy, 906, Kamphaeng Phet 6 Rd., Talat Bang Khen, Lak Si, Bangkok - 10210
Thailand
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DOI: 10.4103/wjnm.WJNM_94_20

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Anapanasati is a core meditation of a breath-centered practice in the Buddhist Theravada tradition, which may have some neurological mechanism effects on the brain. To gain insight into the neurological mechanisms involved in Anapanasati meditation, we measured the alterations of regional cerebral glucose metabolism during Anapanasati meditation using positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) and electroencephalography (EEG) analysis. This prospective study was conducted in six right-handed volunteer participants (two men, four women; aged: 32–67 years) who underwent18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET/CT scans to compare the alterations of regional cerebral glucose metabolism during normal consciousness and Anapanasati meditation states. Spectral EEG analysis was performed throughout the investigations. Statistical parametric mapping was used for the18F-FDG PET/CT image analyses. The visual analysis demonstrated moderate-to-marked increased metabolism in posterior cingulate cortex in all six patients, while mild-to-moderate increased uptake in the whole frontal lobe was also observed in four patients and precuneus in four patients. Meanwhile, the semiquantitative analysis yielded an increase of regional cerebral glucose metabolism in the right mid-to-posterior cingulate gyrus (P < 0.000), with visible alpha waves on the frontal of the EEG findings. Our semiquantitative analysis showed a significantly increased metabolism only in the posterior cingulate cortex, but visually, there was also an increased metabolism in the whole frontal lobe in most of the patients correlating with EEG findings.


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