Pilot study with UVA to explore more ways to tackle lupus

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A pilot study at the UVA Research Park will explore the science behind the old saying “mind over matter.”

A local company called AMPEL Biosolutions is teaming up with the University of Virginia to examine the effects of contemplative practices — such as meditation — on lupus patients.

“It’s one disease with many faces — many manifestations. Many trials have failed because of the diversity of patients and symptoms.”

The idea of combining contemplative practices with modern medicine isn’t new. Doctors know reducing emotional stress promotes general well-being and aids in physical recovery. But the collaborative study between AMPEL and UVA’s Contemplative Sciences Center will examine the physiological effects of such practices — which could have far-reaching implications for the medical field. Dr. Peter Lipsky, a physician with AMPEL, said it may have something to do with the connection between the brain and the immune system.

“Many contemplative approaches have really been thought of as approaches to calm the spirit [and] deal with anxiety, but there are studies in the literature that suggest, by affecting brain and neural pathways, that some of these interventions may have an effect to depress the immune system — to regulate it more effectively,” Lipsky said.

Read the full Daily Progress story.

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