CE37 - Neurosciences intégratives et cognitives

Impacts of meditation training on the organisation of resting state intrinsic connectivity networks in the brain: implications for the study of well-being and ageing. – CONNECTOMICS_AGEING_AND_MED

Submission summary

Meditation practices emerged as a promising mental training to improve brain integrity and foster attentional and emotional regulation in ageing populations towards reducing dementia risk. We investigated the effect of meditation training on brain integrity in cognitively unimpaired elderly. The Age-Well clinical trial was a randomized, controlled superiority clinical trial with blinded endpoint assessment completed. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three parallel arms: an 18-month meditation-based intervention, a structurally matched English training (the active control), or a no intervention passive control arm. We added a 48-month follow-up visit to the trial that was completed in 2023.
The present project aims to characterize the plasticity of the aging brain following meditation training by measuring the reorganisation of the brain intrinsic functional organisation, and the changes in cognitive, and affective skills important for healthy aging and well-being. To further increase our capacity to study longitudinally the adult lifespan and to elucidate the long-term impact of meditation on brain and behavior, we are proposing to collect during this project an additional 96-month follow-up visit. We will use state-of-the-art gradient mapping techniques to characterize the segregation and integration of functional brain networks, which are known to be impacted by ageing and meditation. We will also explore the effects of meditation expertise, and meditation training, using complementary cross-sectional, longitudinal, and long-term follow-up assessments, on this integrative measure of brain health.
We hypothesize that the frontoparietal, attention and default mode networks will exhibit more dissimilar functional connectivity pro?les within each of these networks as a function of age. We also hypothesize that the dispersion within these networks, and within the salience network, will predict decreased cognition, and increase risks for mood disorders, and for Alzheimer’s disease. We predict that the meditation and English training groups will have a protective effect on frontoparietal, and attention networks compared to the no intervention group and that meditation will have a protective effect on the salience and default-mode networks. We predict that these effects will persist and even reinforce at the follow-up visit for the responders who regularly practiced meditation.
In addition, our project aims at contributing to the elucidation of disease mechanisms through approaches integrating population data and biomarkers. We will be able to investigate health determinants in multiple ways looking at their impact on the segregation and integration of functional brain networks using this technique; indeed, thanks to a detailed exploration of lifestyle factors covering lifelong cognitive activity, physical activity, diet, social activity and socio-economic status, we will be able to identify the most relevant factors that would impact brain health as we are ageing. Overall, this project could increase our scientific understanding on how meditation practice could be a preventive approach towards health promotion, and towards reducing risk for neurodegenerative diseases and the burden of these conditions (ageing and dementia) on the society. Our project relates to the research theme H.4: Public health, health and societies.

Project coordination

Antoine LUTZ (Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CRNL Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon
PHIND Physiopathologie et imagerie des maladies neurologiques

Help of the ANR 514,949 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: August 2024 - 48 Months

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