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NIMHANS Study Suggests Yoga, In addition to Standard Treatment, May Bring Relief to Depressed Patients | India News


NEW DELHI: New research from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore suggests that yoga In addition to standard antidepressant treatment, it can bring relief to patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and can also achieve early remission. They also found that early yoga intervention can lead to good results and a better prognosis in mild to moderate depression.
NIMHANS cites this study as the first to evaluate the effect of short-term yoga practice on GABA activity, which is the main modulator of how one feels or perceives among those suffering from depression. The research team is of the opinion that in today’s pandemic times, when hardly anyone is off the burden of maintaining mental well-being, practicing yoga can help one cope with stress, fear, anxiety and depression.
Research led by Professor Muralidharan Kesavan, Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS has evaluated the therapeutic effects of yoga in MDD, as well as its effect on the associated neurobiological underpinnings. In a statement issued on Saturday by the science and technology ministry it was stated that due to the plausible therapeutic role of yoga in improving the recovery of patients with depression, it is being considered for the routine recommendation in clinical practice for Depressed patients in both inpatient and outpatient services offered at NIMHANS.
This research, carried out on 70 people for three and a half years, was supported by the ‘Science and Technology of Yoga and Meditation (SATYAM)’ Program of the science and technology department. The research article was published in ‘The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry’ earlier this year.
As part of the study, Yoga (generic yoga consisting of asanas, pranayama, meditation, and relaxation; 1-hour validated module for depression in NIMHANS) was administered as an adjunct for 12 weeks to MDD patients (moderate to severe category ). The yoga module has been prepared by NIMHANS based on best practices after due evaluation of the benefits.
Major depressive disorder has been found to be associated with low GABA levels. Research associate Praerna Bhargav explains that GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) is a primary inhibitory neurotransmitter that influences the way people experience anxiety, fear and stress. Without the proper level of GABA activity in the body, nerve cells can become activated in ways that exacerbate certain conditions, such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders.
“We found that yoga therapy not only alleviated depression clinically, but also brought early remission compared to standard treatment alone and also brought about neurobiological changes, as evidenced by increased GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) activity. who is generally upset or low in depression, ”Bhargav added.
Previous studies conducted at NIMHANS have shown promising results of Yoga in reducing MDD symptoms, associated stress hormone levels, and improving GABA levels in the brain, as well as autonomous brain function. In this research, the team evaluated the effectiveness of yoga therapy on the clinical symptoms of depression and its mechanism of action by evaluating several associated biomarkers.

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