Child pages
  • Abstract: High Resolution Spatial Temporal Analysis of Whole-Head Magnetoencephalography Imaging of a Yogic Breathing Technique That Has Been Successfully Used to Treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (Phase 2), Y3
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

(Note: All references here are included in the P's 2-page CV) This project has two 2 phases. The first phase used whole-head 306 MEG & 66 channel EEG to further investigate a rhythm during sleep that manifests with the two cerebral hemispheres alternating in dominance with an ultradian"hourly-like" rhythm that is tightly coupled to the REM-NREM sleep cycle, the current"gold standard" for defining the stages of sleep. We  previously published this finding with EEG using only single homologous pairs of EEG leads in normal young healthy males (see: Shannahoff-Khalsa DS, Gillin JC, Yates EJ, Schlosser A, Zawadzki EM, Sleep Medicine, 2001). The whole head array allows us to study this rhythm in much greater detail. In phase 1 we showed how REM and NREM sleep (stages 3 and 4) are tightly coupled to these ultradian cerebral rhythms with low-delta, delta, and theta frequency bands. We were able to demonstrate that during REM sleep greater power was exhibited in the left hemisphere and during NREM stages 3 and 4 greater power was exhibited in the right hemisphere. NREM stages 1 and 2 were more likely to exhibit dominance in either hemisphere. The alpha, beta, and gamma bands also exhibit as ultradians but without the same tight coupling to the left or right hemispheres. This further supports our earlier EEG findings and those of others that used a single homologous pair of EEG channels. We have also previously shown how this novel cerebral rhythm of the central nervous system (CNS) exhibits during the waking state in humans, with coupling to a marker of an ultradian rhythm of alternating autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity in the periphery on the two sides of the body called the nasal cycle (Werntz, Bickford, Bloom and Shannahoff-Khalsa, Human Neurobiology 1983), and later how the nasal cycle is also tightly coupled in humans to the ultradian rhythms of the cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and fuel-regulatory systems (see: Shannahoff-Khalsa, DS, Kennedy, B, Yates, FE & Ziegler, MG, 1996, 1997. We also showed during sleep how the cerebral rhythm was coupled to the cardiovascular system and the nasal cycle (Shannahoff-Khalsa & Yates, 2000). While this work provides a larger context for understanding the significance of the cerebral rhythm and its coupling to multi-system physiology regulated by the hypothalamus during both waking and sleep, we also showed how affecting this rhythm through unilateral forced nostril breathing, i.e., altering the phases of the nasal cycle, can be used to successfully treat a major psychiatric disorder (obsessive compulsive disorder) that is often treatment resistant using conventional therapies. We have now demonstrated the therapeutic efficacy of this approach in three clinical trials, all showing marked success. The most recent clinical trial is the following (see: Shannahoff-Khalsa, et al. Kundalini Yoga Meditation Versus the Relaxation Response Meditation for Treating Adults With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Frontiers in Psychiatry 2019, doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00793.). We have started phase 2 of this project to investigate the differential effects of this OCD-specific left nostril breathing technique on how the two cerebral hemispheres are differentially activated with our previously recorded 148-channel MEG data sets. We are exploring these effects using 8 data sets to compare the previously proven clinically therapeutic technique using the left nostril pattern with a nearly identical breath technique that does not have the same therapeutic properties because it employs the right nostril. The OCD-specific intervention and the control differ only by which nostril is used. We have started comparing these left and right nostril data sets. Each experiment has a 10 min of resting baseline, followed immediately by 31 min of the 4-phase left (or right) nostril practice that has a respiration rate of one breath/min when perfected. The four equal 15-sec phases are respectively (1) slow inhalation, (2) breath retention, (3) slow exhalation, and (4) breath hold out, repeated for 31 min. The exercise phase is immediately followed by another 10 min of resting recording (baseline 2). We present some of the unpublished work with this phase 2 data in the Progress Report below but where only the gamma band has been studied. Phase 1 of this project demonstrates a most unique and relatively unstudied ultradian rhythm of alternating cerebral hemispheric activity, and phase 2 demonstrates how this rhythm can be altered to treat OCD, an otherwise difficult-to-treat psychiatric disorder. The conventional therapies for treating OCD are clinically beneficial for about 50% of patients, and of those 50% the improvement averages only about 25-35% improvement. Our phase 1 data demonstrates that we have been successful in helping to further elucidate the significance of the hourly-like cerebral rhythm and this helps to bring further interest and attention to this novel and mostly neglected but critical mind-body CNS-ANS rhythm. Our phase 2 data is promising and needs to be expanded by looking at the other frequency bands, in addition to our early results with the gamma band, and how this technique can be non-invasively employed to treat a major psychiatric disorder.

  • No labels