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Five days of integrative body-mind training (IBMT) improves attention and self-regulation in comparison with the same amount of relaxation training. This paper explores the underlying mechanisms of this finding. We measured the physiological and brain changes at rest before, during, and after 5 days of IBMT and relaxation training. During and after training, the IBMT group showed significantly better physiological reactions in heart rate, respiratory amplitude and rate, and skin conductance response (SCR) than the relaxation control. Differences in heart rate variability (HRV) and EEG power suggested greater involvement of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in the IBMT group during and after training. Imaging data demonstrated stronger subgenual and adjacent ventral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) activity in the IBMT group. Frontal midline ACC theta was correlated with highfrequency HRV, suggesting control by the ACC over parasympathetic activity. These results indicate that after 5 days of training, the IBMT group shows better regulation of the ANS by a ventral midfrontal brain system than does the relaxation group. This changed state probably reflects training in the coordination of body and mind given in the IBMT but not in the control group. These results could be useful in the design of further specific interventions.
Objective: Prehypertension is a new category designated by the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure ( JNC7) in 2003. Managing prehypertension with nonpharmacological intervention is possibly beneﬁcial to the prevention of hypertension. In this study, we observed the effect of slow abdominal breathing combined with electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback training on blood pressure (BP) in prehypertensives and assessed the changes of heart rate variability (HRV) in order to ﬁnd an optional intervention to prevent hypertension and acquire some experimental data to clarify the underlying neural mechanism.Methods: Twenty-two (22) postmenopausal women with prehypertension were randomly assigned to either the experiment group or the control group. The experiment group performed 10 sessions of slow abdominal breathing (six cycles/min) combined with frontal electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback training and daily home practice, while the control group only performed slow abdominal breathing and daily home practice. BP and HRV (including R–R interval and standard deviation of the normal–normal intervals [SDNN]) were measured. Results: Participants with prehypertension could lower their systolic blood pressure (SBP) 8.4 mm Hg ( p < 0.001) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) 3.9 mm Hg ( p < 0.05) using slow abdominal breathing combined with EMG biofeedback. The slow abdominal breathing also signiﬁcantly decreased the SBP 4.3 mm Hg ( p < 0.05), while it had no effect on the DBP ( p > 0.05). Repeated-measures analyses showed that the biofeedback group þ abdominal respiratory group (ABþBF) training was more effective in lowering the BP than the slow breathing ( p < 0.05). Compared with the control group, the R–R interval increased signiﬁcantly during the training in the ABþBF group ( p < 0.05). The SDNN increased remarkably in both groups during the training ( p < 0.05). Conclusions: Slow abdominal breathing combined with EMG biofeedback is an effective intervention to manage prehypertension. The possible mechanism is that slow abdominal breathing combined with EMG biofeedback could reduce sympathetic activity and meanwhile could enhance vagal activity.
Introduction - Radix Gentianae Macrophyllae, a traditional Chinese medicine, has been frequently used to dispel rheumatism and ease pain. There are four species of <i>Gentiana </i>(<i>G</i>. <i>macrophylla</i>, <i>G</i>. <i>straminea</i>, <i>G</i>. <i>dahurica</i> and <i>G</i>. <i>crassicaulis</i>) recorded as herbal drugs in the <i>Chinese Pharmacopoeia </i>and two other <i>Gentiana</i> species (<i>G</i>. <i>officinalis</i> and <i>G</i>. <i>siphonantha</i>) are often used as substitutes. Currently, the LC fingerprint comparison among different species and evidence for the equivalent application of these herbs are lacking.<br>Objective - To develop an HPLC method for the simultaneous determination of four iridoid and secoiridoid glycosides and a comparative study of six species of <i>Gentiana</i>.<br>Methodology - HPLC analysis was performed on a C<sub>18</sub> column (Phenomenex, 150 × 4.6 mm, 5 µm particle size) with gradient elution using 0.4% aqueous phosphoric acid and methanol at 242 nm.<br>Results - The proposed method was precise, accurate and sensitive enough for simultaneous quantitative evaluation of four iridoid and secoiridoid glycosides (loganic acid, swertiamarin, gentiopicroside and sweroside) in the six species of <i>Gentiana</i>. Contents of the four marker compounds varied from each other even among the samples from the same species and the LC chromatograms of the six species of <i>Gentiana</i> showed high similarities.<br>Conslusion - The close similarity of LC chromatograms and chemical composition of the four genuine <i>Gentiana</i> species explain their popular usage as Radix Gentianae Macrophyllae in Chinese medicine. By comparing the four genuine <i>Gentiana</i> species, it is suggested that the two substitutes could be used as Radix Gentianae Macrophyllae to relieve the scarcity of resources. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.<br>An HPLC method has been developed for simultaneous determination of four iridoid and secoiridoid glycosides and the fingerprints of the six <i>Gentiana</i> species was analyzed and compared. The close similarity of LC chromatograms and chemical composition of the four <i>Gentiana</i> species (<i>G. macrophylla</i>, <i>G. straminea</i>, <i>G. dahurica</i> and <i>G. crassicaulis</i>) explain their popular usage as Radix Gentianae Macrophyllae in Chinese medicine. By comparing the four genuine <i>Gentiana</i> species, it is suggested that <i>G. officinalis</i> and <i>G. siphonantha</i> could be used as Radix Gentianae Macrophyllae to relieve the scarcity of resources.