The purpose of this article is to (1) provide a comprehensive over view and discussion of mindfulness meditation and its clinical applicability in oncology and (2) report and critically evaluate the existing and emerging research on mindfulness meditation as an intervention for cancer patients. Using relevant keywords, a comprehensive search of MEDLINE, PsycInfo, and Ovid was completed along with a review of published abstracts from the annual conferences sponsored by the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society and the American Psychosocial Oncology Society.
Insomnia appears to be a fast-spreading problem in the modern days, which not only affects people's living quality but also impairs people's working efficiency even causing disability. Pharmacological treatment is effective but frequently with significant side effects. Acupuncture is traditionally used for the treatment of insomnia in China and now is widely accepted in the Western countries. Many research works on clinical applications of acupuncture in the treatment of insomnia and the potential mechanisms underlying the acupuncture treatment have been reported.
Organisms have evolved neuroendocrine and metabolic response systems to enhance survival during periods of food shortage, which occur frequently in nature. The anti-aging effect of caloric restriction (CR) might derive from these adaptive responses to maximize organism survival. The present article discusses the potential role for leptin, a hormone secreted from adipocytes, as a key signal that induces the adaptive responses relevant to CR.
Evolutional theories of aging and caloric restriction (CR) in animals predict the presence of neuroendocrine signals to divert the limited energy resources from energy-costly physiologic processes such as reproduction to those essential for survival in response to food shortage. The diversion of energy and subsequent molecular mechanisms might extend the lifespan. A growing body of evidence indicates that leptin, a peptide hormone secreted from adipocytes, has a key role in neuroendocrine adaptation against life-threatening stress such as fasting.
The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
As part of an effort to review current understanding of the mechanisms by which caloric restriction (CR) extends maximum life span, the authors of the present review were requested to develop a list of key issues concerning the potential role of neuroendocrine systems in mediating these effects. It has long been hypothesized that failure of specific neuroendocrine functions during aging leads to key age-related systemic and physiological failures, and more recently it has been postulated that physiological neuroendocrine responses to CR may increase life span.
Many hormonal signals from peripheral tissues contribute to the regulation of energy homeostasis and food intake. These regulators including leptin, insulin, and ghrelin, modulate the orexigenic and anorexigenic neuropeptide expression in hypothalamic nuclei. The anti-aging effects of caloric restriction have been explained from an evolutional viewpoint of the adaptive response of the neuroendocrine and metabolic response systems to maximize survival during periods of food shortage.
Calorie restriction (CR) extends life span and retards age-related chronic diseases in a variety of species, including rats, mice, fish, flies, worms, and yeast. The mechanism or mechanisms through which this occurs are unclear. CR reduces metabolic rate and oxidative stress, improves insulin sensitivity, and alters neuroendocrine and sympathetic nervous system function in animals. Whether prolonged CR increases life span (or improves biomarkers of aging) in humans is unknown. In experiments of nature, humans have been subjected to periods of nonvolitional partial starvation.
Since the work of McCay in 1935, demonstrating the effect of energy restricted diet on the lifespan of rats, many studies have confirmed these findings in different species. Several mechanisms have been suggested, including among others, growth retardation, diminished apoptosis, decreased oxidative damage, altered glucose utilization, changes in gene expression, enhanced stress responsiveness and hormesis.
Aging is commonly defined as the accumulation of diverse deleterious changes occurring in cells and tissues with advancing age that are responsible for the increased risk of disease and death. The major theories of aging are all specific of a particular cause of aging, providing useful and important insights for the understanding of age-related physiological changes. However, a global view of them is needed when debating of a process which is still obscure in some of its aspects.