STUDY OBJECTIVES: We have recently shown higher parietal-occipital EEG gamma activity during sleep in long-term meditators compared to meditation-naive individuals. This gamma increase was specific for NREM sleep, was present throughout the entire night and correlated with meditation expertise, thus suggesting underlying long-lasting neuroplastic changes induced through prolonged training. The aim of this study was to explore the neuroplastic changes acutely induced by 2 intensive days of different meditation practices in the same group of practitioners.
The present work is an analysis of 30 patients with Parkinsonian syndrome and 10 healthy persons during different functional states (aroused wakefulness, relaxed waking state, various phases and stages of nocturnal sleep, hypnosis). By means of polygraphic recordings and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) it has been shown that motor, emotional and autonomic activity during sleep as well as EEG changes in parkinsonism are uniformly related to the nature and extent of the pathologic alterations in the non-specific, predominantly activating brain systems.