AIIMS study reveals Yoga reduced seizure frequency, improved life quality among epilepsy patients

Yoga can help reduce the frequency of seizures among epilepsy patients, a new study by Delhi AIIMS has revealed. The study has been published in the medical research journal, Neurology.

People with epilepsy with an average age of 30 in India were made part of the study. 160 such people meeting the criteria were selected for it. The participants averaged one seizure per week and on average took at least two anti-seizure medications.

The subjects were selected randomly to receive yoga therapy which included stretching exercises ('sukshma vyayama'), breathing exercises ('pranayama'), meditation, and positive affirmations, while others were introduced to ‘sham yoga'. 

It was found that people doing yoga were more than four times as likely to have more than a 50 percent reduction in their seizure frequency after six months than the people who did 'sham yoga', said Dr. Manjati Tripathy, head of the department of Neurology at AIIMS.

"There was also a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms for those who did yoga compared to people who did not," Dr Tripathy said. “This helps in reducing the feeling of stigma that comes with having epilepsy.”

The stigma was measured based on participants' answers to questions about being discriminated against, feeling different from other people, and whether they feel they contribute to society.

“This stigma can affect a person's life in many ways. Doing Yoga helped reduce this stigma and improve the overall quality of life of the patients,” Dr Tripathy said. 

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