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Yoga Roundup

August 10, 2012

Practicing yoga could help older people who have suffered strokes recover more quickly.



Anti-inflammatory effects of yoga. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Recent studies show that yoga can have surprising health benefits. In one, conducted at UCLA, stressed out family members who were caring for a loved one with Alzheimers disease spent 12 minutes each day performing yoga meditation. Eight weeks later, researchers found the dozens of genes related to inflammation and stress had been altered; blood tests showed that stress hormone levels were reduced. Those hormones not only indicate psychological stress, but also inflammation that can lead to heart disease and cancer. So reducing them can improve overall health.

In another study, published in the journal Stroke, older patients who had suffered strokes took yoga classes and showed significant improvement in balance and mobility. Since serious falls are a big risk factor for stroke patients, improving balance could reduce return trips to the hospital.I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Older stroke patients may recover their balance more quickly by practicing yoga. (Jupiter Images)