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Mental Health

AIIMS Delhi Experts Underscore Mental Health Benefits Of Yoga

Yoga promotes neuroplasticity and has neuroprotective effects in preventing memory defects and mild cognitive impairment and dementia

AIIMS Delhi Experts Underscore Mental Health Benefits Of Yoga
Yoga increases expression of genes, coding for antioxidant, anti-inflammatory genes reducing the chances of memory defects

New Delhi: Yoga enhances expression of genes beneficial for mental health and can play a critical role in reducing severity and delay in onset of memory defects and dementia, AIIMS Delhi experts said Tuesday(September 12). Yoga is a mind-body energy medicine which has tremendous transformative power, said Dr Rima Dada, Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Professor in-charge of the Media Cell. It promotes neuroplasticity and has neuroprotective effects in preventing neurodegenerative changes and memory defects and cognitive decline, Dr Dada said. He added,

With increase in lifespan, the health span has not increased and we are burdened with early onset of complex lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, PCOS, Alzieimers disease and cancers.

Memory defects and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia increase burden of disability and are associated with poor quality of life, said Dr Manjari Tripathi, Professor in the department of Neurology at AIIMS.

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Several factors are associated with development of memory defects and mild cognitive impairment.

These risk factors for MCI include diabetes, smoking, high BP, obesity, fast food intake, which is a highly inflammatory diet- a diet which is nutritionally depleted, intake of processed red meat (high in iron and saturated fats), obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, sedentary lifestyle, poor social interaction, low education level and adverse childhood events.

Genetic factors and environmental factors play a key role in MCI and AD. Previous studies “from our lab” on male factor infertility, aging, autoimmune diseases, depression, PCOS and glaucoma have shown that these diseases have some common underlying aetiological factors like inflammation stress, anxiety, oxidative stress, accelerated aging and shortened telomeres, dysregulated gene expression.

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Yoga is the only modality which can target all these factors by switching on gene programs beneficial for health. It decrease inflammation, oxidative stress and causes parasympathetic dominance and reduces our biological age, said Dr Dada.

This is due to increased expression of genes coding for antioxidants and decreased expression of proinflammatory genes. Dr Dada stated,

It promotes neuroplasticity and there is an increase in levels of BDNF and various neurotransmitters which promote neuronal health and synatogenesis and prevent there functional decline. Thus yoga is very useful for memory deficits. Yoga increases expression of genes, coding for antioxidant, anti-inflammatory genes and thus all these factors play a critical role in reducing severity and delay in onset of memory defects and MCI.

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(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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