An eight-week mindfulness-based meditation program led to improved quality of life and psychological well-being in clinical trial of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

In the randomised, open-label and controlled clinical trial that included 100 patients, participants who underwent meditation training scored higher on a questionnaire specifically developed to assess quality of life in people with ALS. They also reported lower levels of anxiety and depression. These results remained stable, when not further improved, over a 12-month follow-up.

"There has been very limited investigation on psychological interventions that can promote quality of life in people with ALS. I found that very strange, as we are not able to cure the disease, but we all agree that the promotion of quality of life is the current main goal in ALS cases," said Dr. Francesco Pagnini, lead author of the European Journal of Neurology study. "This is the first controlled trial in this field, suggesting that a mindfulness-based intervention can be a very important tool to increase the well-being of people with ALS."

Article: Meditation training for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a randomized clinical trial, F. Pagnini, A. Marconi, A. Tagliaferri, G. M. Manzoni, R. Gatto, V. Fabiani, G. Gragnano, G. Rossi, E. Volpato, P. Banfi, A. Palmieri, F. Graziano, G. Castelnuovo, M. Corbo, E. Molinari, N. Riva, V. Sansone, C. Lunetta, Journal of Neurology, doi: 10.1111/ene.13246, published online 23 February 2017.