Yoga on Our Minds: A Systematic Review of Yoga for Neuropsychiatric Disorders

LIMITATIONS BASED ON SEARCH STRATEGY AND INCLUSION/EXCLUSION CRITERIA yoga has been used as a treatment for a wide variety of psychiatric conditions and distress, we have focused on the major broad categories of psychiatric disorders, namely depression, schizophrenia, eating disorders, ADHD, sleep complaints, and cognitive impairments

Meera Balasubramaniam; Shirley Telles; P. Murali Doraiswamy

2013

Scholarcy highlights

  • The demand for clinically efficacious, safe, patient acceptable, and costeffective forms of treatment for mental illness is growing
  • Based on our assessment of the available literature according to the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness method, Grade B evidence supporting a potential acute benefit for yoga exists in depression, as an adjunct to medications in Schizophrenia and ADHD, and Grade C evidence supports the benefit of yoga for sleep complaints
  • LIMITATIONS BASED ON SEARCH STRATEGY AND INCLUSION/EXCLUSION CRITERIA yoga has been used as a treatment for a wide variety of psychiatric conditions and distress, we have focused on the major broad categories of psychiatric disorders, namely depression, schizophrenia, eating disorders, ADHD, sleep complaints, and cognitive impairments
  • The number of studies for each sub-type of yoga is very small, for the purpose of our review, which is the first of its kind, we considered subtypes which included similar basic components, namely controlled breathing, relaxation, and postural training to be equivalent
  • Our systematic review finds emerging scientific evidence to support a role for yoga in treating depression, sleep complaints consistent with both popular beliefs and biological studies, and having adjunctive value in schizophrenia and ADHD
  • No significant difference in measures of cognition
  • Given the growing popularity of yoga, it would be important for the field to attempt to replicate and extend these findings in larger, multicenter, randomized, blinded studies with the control group receiving alternative treatments, preferably using Good clinical practice guidelines
  • Biomarker research, such as through functional magnetic resonance imaging and Positron Emission Tomography studies, and molecular markers, would facilitate greater scientific understanding at a neurobiological level, of this 5000-year-old revered practice

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