Novel applications of ECG monitoring for the quantification of noetic phenomena
A safety and efficacy study of nondrug, nondevice 'noetic' medical interventions requires unique clinical trial design elements and tools. Although the precise mechanisms through which meditative or spiritual practices might influence clinical outcomes may be difficult to define, intuitively any such intervention that could meaningfully alter human physiology would be likely to be mediated through vascular tone, autonomic nervous system tone, or both. Continuous electrocardiographic monitoring in patients with coronary artery disease provides an objective, noninvasive modality through which coronary vascular insufficiency (ischemia) and spectro-temporal parameters of heart rate variability can be analyzed in an experienced core laboratory setting blinded to patient treatment assignments. We applied this approach in 150 patients with unstable angina and acute myocardial infarction undergoing invasive coronary catheterization and angioplasty who were randomized to one of five therapies (healing touch, stress relaxation training, imagery, double-blinded off-site intercessory prayer, or standard therapy) in the Monitoring and Actualization of Noetic TRAinings (MANTRA) Feasibility Pilot Study. Using a uniquely modified Marquette Electronics Tramscope 12-lead STGuard/MARS Holter 'Unity' configuration (Milwaukee, WI), a 'seamless' monitoring capability allowed monitoring to continue uninterrupted as patients went from the CCU to the catheterization lab and back to the CCU, creating a 'rest-stress-recovery' data set similar to the common exercise stress test paradigm.
Krucoff, M; Crater, S; Green, C; Maas, A; Seskevitch, J; Loeffler, K; Raju, S
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