For caregivers of family members with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, setting aside just 12 minutes a day for yoga can reduce stress - and possibly even decrease inflammation that could impair health. A newly published study from UCLA shows that just eight weeks of practicing Kirtan Kriya Meditation, a yogic chant, resulted in a reduction in inflammation. Of particular interest is that this response was apparently achieved at the level of 68 genes that influence inflammation. The research team leader noted that chronic stress raises the risk for depression, that the incidence of depression among caregivers is approaching 50 percent, and that caregivers are also twice as likely to report high levels of emotional stress. The investigators divided the study participants into two groups. One group was taught the Kirtan Kriya and performed it daily at the same time for eight weeks. Caregivers in the other group were asked to relax in a quiet place with closed eyes while listening to music for 12 minutes daily for eight weeks. The researchers took blood samples from the participants at the beginning and end of the eight week study. The test results of the yogic chant group revealed a marked difference in the activity of proteins involved in inflammation.
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