Semin Neurol 2022; 42(02): 123-135
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1742287
Review Article

Meditative and Mindfulness-Focused Interventions in Neurology: Principles, Science, and Patient Selection

Kristen M. Kraemer
1   Division of General Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
Felipe A. Jain
2   Depression Clinical and Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Darshan H. Mehta
3   Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
4   Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Gregory L. Fricchione
3   Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
› Author Affiliations
Funding K.M.K. was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Grant 1K23AT011043-01A1; F.A.J. was supported by NIH (K76AG064390).


A growing body of research suggests that meditative- and mindfulness-focused interventions may improve neuropsychiatric symptoms that commonly occur in a range of neurological disorders. In this article, the principles of meditation and mindfulness are first defined, as well as briefly describing the neurobiological mechanisms implicated in these interventions. Thereafter, a range of meditative- and mindfulness-focused interventions are detailed, along with their supporting evidence to treat neuropsychiatric symptoms in neurological conditions (e.g., headache, movement disorders, chronic pain, etc.). Overall, these interventions warrant further investigation among individuals with neurological conditions. When recommending these interventions, health care professionals must consider a combination of structural (e.g., insurance reimbursement) and patient factors (e.g., ability to tolerate a group setting).

Publication History

Article published online:
09 February 2022

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