Yoga helps to reduce the severity of depression: AIIMS

Vastavam web: Yoga helps reduce the severity of depression by increasing levels of certain chemicals in the brain that maintain the sleep-wake cycle and regulate the mood, appetite and digestion, according a recent study by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here.The study found that introducing yoga into lifestyle results in a decrease in cortisol, the main stress hormone, and reduces levels of certain inflammatory molecules in the body as well as brain, thereby reducing oxidative stress, said Rima Dada, Professor in-charge of Laboratory of Molecular Reproduction and Genetics, Department of Anatomy at AIIMS.”The study which was published in the ‘Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience’ journal in March found that meditation and yoga could reduce severity of depression and lead to improvement in systemic biomarkers of neuroplasticity,” she said.

The study was conducted by the Laboratory for Molecular Reproduction and Genetics in collaboration with Department of Psychiatry. It studied the impact of yoga on depression after a 12-week yoga intervention on around 236 subjects.Depression is a major health problem which contributes to significant morbidity, disability and early onset of aging and aging associated diseases. Adverse childhood events also play a major role in its causation, Dada said.Depression disrupts the body’s protective regulatory mechanisms and damage the genetic make-up and cell functions. Most important it disrupts the mechanisms that regulate the way body responds to stress. Moreover, immune system becomes hyperactive and aggravates the damage to organ systems including brain.