Tag Archives: DNA

Rx to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk: Listen to Music

Charalambos Vlachopoulos

Charalambos Vlachopoulos

Listening to music, both classical and rock, decreases aortic stiffness and wave reflection to reduce cardiovascular risk of death and disability, according to Athens Medical School’s Charalambos Vlachopoulos with Angelos Aggelakas, Nikolaos Ioakeimidis, Panagiotis Xaplanteris, Dimitrios Terentes-Printzios, Mahmoud Abdelrasoul, George Lazaros, and Dimitris Tousoulis.

Panagiotis Xaplanteris

Panagiotis Xaplanteris

Even “a brief period of mental stress can have an enduring effect on arterial stiffness,” Vlachopoulos and colleagues noted, suggesting the value of music listening as a health intervention to decrease stress and cardiovascular risk.

Dimitris Tousoulis

Dimitris Tousoulis

The team compared aortic stiffness and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) reflections for 20 healthy volunteers after a half-hour rest period.
Then, participants were divided into three groups that listened to a half-hour of:

  • Classical music including excerpts from J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suites OR
  • Rock featuring selections by Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Green Day OR
  • Silence.

Cardiovascular measurements were recorded immediately after the different auditory conditions, and then again after 30 minutes.

Liisa Ukkola-Vuoti

Liisa Ukkola-Vuoti

Participants who listened to either musical genre had lower aortic stiffness immediately after the music, and wave reflection was reduced for at least 30 minutes after the music.
This effect was even greater for those who preferred classical music, whether they listened to rock or classical selections.

Chakravarthi Kanduri

Chakravarthi Kanduri

Music’s “whole body experience” begins with genes:  Musical receptivity, perception, and creativity were linked to gene clusters and duplicate DNA associated with the brain’s serotonin systems in research by University of Helsinki’s Liisa Ukkola-Vuoti, Chakravarthi Kanduri, Jaana Oikkonen, Gemma Buck, Pirre Raijas, Kai Karma, and Irma Järvelä, collaborating with Christine Blancher of Oxford Genomics Centre and Aalto University’s Harri Lähdesmäki.

Jaana Oikkonen

Jaana Oikkonen

They found that neurotransmitter systems enable brain plasticity and connectivity in the brain’s posterior cingulate cortex.

Yi Ting Tan

Yi Ting Tan

Several chromosomes contain specific areas associated with musical perception, found University of Melbourne’s Yi Ting Tan, Gary McPherson, Samuel Berkovic, and Sarah Wilson, collaborating with Isabelle Peretz from University of Montreal.

Isabelle Peretz

Isabelle Peretz

They detected several locations on chromosome 4 tied to music perception and singing, and a specific area on chromosome 8q is implicated in music perception and absolute pitch.
In addition chromosome 12q’s gene AVPR1A was linked to music perception, music memory, and music listening, whereas SLC6A4 on chromosome 17q was associated with music memory.

These findings suggest music listening can be an easy, enjoyable way to enhance arterial function and cardiovascular health.

-*What physical effects do you notice when listening to your preferred musical genre?

Follow-share-like http://www.kathrynwelds.com and @kathrynwelds

Related Posts:

Twitter:  @kathrynwelds
Google+LinkedIn Groups Psychology in Human Resources (Organisational Psychology)
Facebook
Blog: – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary

©Kathryn Welds

Loneliness, Happiness Affect Gene Expression, Health

Loneliness not only feels bad, but it’s also bad for your health.

Steve Cole

Steve Cole

Subjective social isolation is a known social epidemiological risk factor that has been linked to heart disease, viral infections and cancer.

In addition, loneliness has physical effects on gene regulation and expression, according to DNA microarray analyses of 209 gene transcripts (the first step in synthesizing a protein) out of more than 20,000 in white blood cells of 14 volunteers.

Louise Hawkley

Louise Hawkley

UCLA’s Steve Cole, Jesusa Arevalo, and Caroline Sung collaborated with Robert Rosen of University of Texas and University of Chicago’s Louise Hawkley and John Cacioppo to report that individuals who reported high loneliness on Daniel Russell’s UCLA Loneliness Scale showed different gene expression in circulating leukocytes than volunteers who did not report loneliness.

Daniel Russell

Daniel Russell

Lonely individuals were less able to ward off inflammatory responses and viruses, and less able to produce antibodies because controlling genes were under-expressed.
In contrast, lonely individuals were at risk for greater inflammatory responses and more active immune systems  because the related genes were over-expressed.

These volunteers showed “down-regulation” of genes supporting mature B lymphocyte function and type I interferon response, when researchers controlled for effects of circulating cortisol levels, demographic, psychological, health risk, medications, or social network factors.

The social experience of loneliness desensitizes glucocorticoid receptors and reduces cortisol’s immune control and anti-inflammatory effects.

Cole’s team found that loneliness was more dependent on the number of close relationships rather than the total number of acquaintances.
This suggests the importance of cultivating meaningful social relationships for both social support, reciprocity, and for enhanced health.

Barbara Fredrickson

Barbara Fredrickson

Cole, and Arevalo collaborated with UCLA colleague Jeffrey Ma and University of North Carolina’s Barbara Fredrickson, Karen Grewen, Kimberly Coffey, Sara Algo, and Ann Firestine to consider the impact of different types of happiness on gene expression in 80 adult volunteers.

They evaluated two types of happiness:

  • Eudaimonic well-being,“ a Socratic ideal based on leading a virtuous life, striving toward a meaningful purpose, pursuing “worthwhile” service, and more fully developing personal capabilities
  • Hedonic well-being,” focused on pleasure, consumption, and enjoyment.
Karen Grewen

Karen Grewen

Fredrickson’s team compared leukocyte basal gene expression profiles for volunteers who reported hedonic well-being in contrast to those who reported eudaimonic well-being.
The team also considered negative psychological and behavioral factors.

People with high levels of hedonic well-being showed “up-regulated” pro-inflammatory genes and decreased expression of genes involved in antibody synthesis and type I IFN response in peripheral blood mononuclear cells during stress [conserved transcriptional response to adversity (CTRA)].

Kimberly Coffey

Kimberly Coffey

In contrast, volunteers with high levels of eudaimonic well-being showed CTRA down-regulation, suggesting less stress on body systems.

Fredrickson and team concluded that “genes can tell the difference” between a purposeful life and a more pleasure-centric life, even when self-reports do not distinguish between these two types of happiness.

Ann Firestine

Ann Firestine

These finding suggest the importance of pursuing prosocial purposes and developing meaningful, trust-based relationships with others to experience greatest health and happiness – down to your genes.

-*How have you seen social relationships and mood affect immunity to illness and stress?

 Follow-share-like http://www.kathrynwelds.com and @kathrynwelds

RELATED POSTS:

Twitter  @kathrynwelds
Blog – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary  
Google+
LinkedIn Open Group Psychology in Human Resources (Organisational Psychology)
Facebook Notes:

©Kathryn Welds