Can Meditation Change Gene Expression?

Can meditation change your gene’s expression?

“There is one really great study where a set of about 15 genes were shown to differ (in expression) as function of a type of meditation. Those genes are ones involved in the stress response. And I’m sure there will be more studies like that.”

It seems it can. Of course there are questions regarding the study that I have not found answers to. Namely:

Was she looking at those new to meditation or people who had been at it a lot longer?

What was the pre-testing procedure? In other words, how did they ascertain that the gene expression had changed.

Was the expression due to their self-selection (is there something unique about the brains of people who choose to meditate in the first place) or a result of the meditation itself?

Are they doing follow up studies to see if they can document change over time?  Are they comparing the subjects stress response genes to, say, those who play Grand Theft Auto for 10 years.

Is there a brain difference between those who meditate and those who profess to pray every day?  Do different prayer habits produce difference gene expression (speaking in tongues vs. rosary vs. whirling dervishes vs. the Islamic practice of Salat?).


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