Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic -- when people are battling stress, uncertainties and health risks -- a study done by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has found that yoga- and meditation-based lifestyle intervention (YMLI) increases neuroplasticity and reduces severity of major depressive disorder.
The 12-week study, to determine the effects of YMLI on depression severity, showed that if an individual has genetic depression then yoga can prove to be beneficial.
Speaking to IANS, Rima Dada, Professor at Department of Anatomy at AIIMS, said: "To combat stress anxiety and depression, yoga could play a key role. Yoga, especially pranayama, decreases expression of pro inflammatory genes and increases expression of anti inflammatory genes and may also play an important immune-modulatory role in cytokine storm."
She added depression can be initially managed by yoga, and only in severe cases medicines are required.
According to researchers, coronavirus can set off a cytokine storm and calming down this storm is key for survival. Cytokines are molecules which regulate the activity of the immune system.
The study concluded that YMLI can be considered as a therapeutic intervention in major depressive disorder (MDD) management.
"Short term yoga- and meditation-based lifestyle intervention in MDD decreased clinical severity in association with an increase in neuroplasticity, by significantly improving brain physiology, mind-body communication (MBC), and cellular health," concluded the study.
The study also suggests that increased neuroplasticity may be part of underlying biologicl mechanisms to decrease clinical severity in MDD.
"Moreover, it may prevent complications that are related to drug therapy, reduce relapses and provide long-lasting clinical remission.
"It may also increase cognitive reserve to decrease the risk of dementia and increase functional reserves to decrease risk for age-related chronic medical conditions. Thus it can be considered as a significant component of integrative health strategy in the prevention and management of MDD and increase both healthspan and lifespan," said the study.
The study found that YMLI may not only help to decrease severity in major depressive disorder but also offer hope for complete remission from it that result from heterogeneous biological mechanisms.
The sample size in the study was small and included adult groups only, limiting its generalize-ability to other age groups. "Our work is on depression but in all our studies we found yoga decreases expression of various inflammatory genes," added Dada.
New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Appealing to village heads across India to keep people fed with the right and proper information on coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday morning backed the traditional practice of drinking 'kadha' (medicinal decoction) or doing 'pranayam' to boost immunity amid the battle against the disease."There are some good practices in our villages and one of them is drinking 'kadha'. Another is doing 'pranayam'. I suggest you do this. They are not cures for any disease but ways to boost your immunity that will help you fight diseases," Modi said during his videoconference meeting with select sarpanchs from across India on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day.He added: "We are trying very seriously that the poor in the villages get the best healthcare; efforts are being made for this. the Ayushman Bharat Yojana has also emerged as a big relief for the poor in the villages."Misinformation and myths are two aspects that are crucial to clear in this fight against coronavirus, said Modi and appealed to all sarpanchs across India to keep villagers fed with the right and proper information. The appeal assumes significance in the light of spread of misinformation on the disease through the social media.The Prime Minister urged the village heads to proactively request villagers to download the Aarogya Setu mobile application that, the PM claimed, will go a long way in working as "bodyguard". Though the event was to mark the Panchayati Raj Day, both Modi and the panchayat heads who interacted with him ended up talking about the lockdown, preparedness for it and their endeavour to ensure social distancing.During a chat with one of the sarpanchs, Modi said: "You have to remember that coronavirus doesn't come to your house uninvited. You bring it home." During his interaction with a sarpanch from Assam, the Prime Minister equired whether the villagers were unhappy due to the lockdown that prevented Bihu celebrations. He started his chat with one Iqbal from Jammu and Kashmir and later spoke to sarpanchs from Punjab, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh etc.With Union Panchayati Raj Minister Narendra Singh Tomar by his side, Modi launched a unified e-GramSwaraj portal and a mobile app as well as Swamitva Scheme, that is intended to clear property disputes by mapping through drones. However, it was the COVID-19 outbreak that dominated the discourse throughout. Both Modi and Tomar were seen wearing face masks and Modi reiterated the need to use these while maintaining social distancing. Hailing the role of villagers in maintaining social distancing, he claimed Indians faced difficulties but had resolved to observe the lockdown strictly. He repeatedly used the phrase "do gaj ki doori," to bring home the urgent need to maintain social distancing.--IANSabn/tsb