Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 357-363

Randomized clinical trial of yoga-based intervention in residents from elderly homes: Effects on cognitive function

1 Department of Psychiatry, Advanced Centre for Yoga, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Director, Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
P T Sivakumar
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Hosur Road, Bangalore - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: The research was done under the Advanced Centre for Yoga - Mental Health and Neurosciences, a collaborative centre of NIMHANS and the Morarji Desai Institute of Yoga, New Delhi, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.116308

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Context: Elderly have increased risk for cognitive impairment and dementia. Yoga therapy may be helpful in elderly to improve cognitive function. Aims: We examined the benefits of yoga-based intervention compared with waitlist control group on cognitive function in the residents of elderly homes. Settings and Design: Single blind controlled study with block randomization of elderly homes. Materials and Methods: Study sample included yoga group (n=62) and waitlist group (n=58). A total of 87 subjects (yoga=44, waitlist=43) completed the study period of 6 months. Yoga group received daily yoga sessions for 1 month, weekly until 3 rd month and encouraged to continue unsupervised until 6 months. They were assessed on Rey's Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), Rey's complex figure test (CFT), Wechsler's Memory Scale (WMS)-digit and spatial span, Controlled Oral Word Association (COWA) test, Stroop Color Word Interference Test and Trail Making Test A and B at baseline and at the end of 6 th month. Statistical Analysis: Paired t-test and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to compare the difference in neuropsychological test scores. Results: Yoga group showed significant improvement in immediate and delayed recall of verbal (RAVLT) and visual memory (CFT), attention and working memory (WMS-spatial span), verbal fluency (COWA), executive function (Stroop interference) and processing speed (Trail Making Test-A) than waitlist group at the end of 6 months after correcting for corresponding baseline score and education. Conclusion: Yoga based-intervention appears beneficial to improve several domains of cognitive function in elderly living in residential care homes. Study findings need to be interpreted after considering methodological limitations like lack of active comparison group.



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