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University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine’s Faculty Participates in One of the Leading International Scientific Meetings on Integrative Medicine of 2009

At a conference sponsored by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, an organization of 42 leading North American academic medical centers, Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM) faculty presented their research, chaired panels and conducted a workshop.  The conference is one of the leading venues in North America for showcasing original scientific research into complementary and integrative medicine and attracted over 700 delegates from all over the globe. 

Challenges of Research in Traditional Chinese Medicine Herbs

Drs. Brian Berman, Lixing Lao, and Elizabeth Kimbrough

The symposium focused on the project “Functional Bowel Disorders in Chinese Medicine”, currently being conducted as a National Institutes of Health-National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NIH-NCCAM) International Center for Research in Complementary Medicine.  The panel presented the project’s scope of activity, including plant material acquisition, botanical and chemical quality assurance, isolation and characterization of marker compounds, extraction, GMP production of the herbal product, evaluation of the formulation through in vitro experiments, in vivo animal studies of safety and efficacy, and the design and implementation of a currently ongoing randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.


Mind-Body Interventions:  Is there Power in Positive Thinking?

Dr. Margaret Chesney

The first goal of this discussion was to encourage investigators to consider designing studies of mind-body interventions that include among their outcomes, positive affect or personal growth. The presentations covered 4 different trials that modified standardized mind-body interventions to increase positive psychological and physical outcomes in samples that experienced different life stressors (HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, childbirth and parenting, and childhood sexual abuse). 


Meditative Therapies for Addiction Treatment:  Theory, Research, and Clinical Application

Dr. Kevin Chen

The studies presented in this symposium addressed the potential for meditation as a mind-body therapy for three areas of addictive behavior: alcohol abuse, drug addiction, and binge eating disorder. The aim of the presentation was also to help researchers design more feasible, practical and rigorous intervention studies with meditative therapies, and help practitioners understand the potential role – and limitations – of these approaches to related problems of addictive behavior.   In addition to the symposium, Dr. Chen presented a poster on a study using EEG to evaluate brain activity of Shao Lin monks while practicing Zen meditation.


Bravenet: The First Practice-based Research Network in Integrative Medicine

Dr. Elizabeth Kimbrough

As the first practice-based research network (PBRN) in integrative medicine, BraveNet provides a unique opportunity to study outcomes of integrative medicine in a real-world setting. Dr. Kimbrough presented the preliminary results of an initial survey of the characteristics of patients and their reasons for visiting the eight integrative medicine clinics in North America (including the Integrative Medicine Clinic at CIM) that make up the Bravenet PBRN. 


Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Trauma Survivors

Dr. Kimbrough

This panel reviewed evidence to date in this growing area of study, and examined the methodological issues related to its science.  Additionally, the symposium served as a brief forum in which study design, appropriate outcomes, safety considerations, and suitable control groups for such research were discussed.  In addition to the panel, Dr. Kimbrough presented a poster on a study “Mindfulness Intervention for Child Abuse Survivors”.


Introduction to Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses that Focus on Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Susan Wieland

In this workshop we examined some of the issues encountered in preparing and interpreting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of CAM modalities.  We also reviewed research that has been conducted to identify biases that may operate to cause spurious findings in CAM systematic reviews.


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