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Rs 14-cr grants for Nimhans to study integrative-medicine approaches involving Ayurveda, yoga

The premier institute in Bengaluru will carry out Ayurveda- and yoga-based clinical trials for disorders such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, mood disorders and multiple sclerosis.

Written by Aksheev Thakur | Bengaluru |
Updated: July 2, 2022 9:43:42 am
A yoga session at the Department of Integrative Medicine at Nimhans, Bengaluru.

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans) in Bengaluru has received Rs 14-crore research grants–Rs 10 crore from the Ayush ministry and the rest from other agencies–to carry out 11 projects evaluating the effects of integrative-medicine approaches involving Ayurveda and yoga to opioid dependence, psychosis, migraine, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis.

Speaking to indianexpress.com at a media interaction on Friday, Dr Shivarama Varambally of the Department of Integrative Medicine, said, “One of the projects which the department has bagged is the project titled Yoga and Ayurveda in Neuroscience Translational Research Accelerator (YANTRA), which consists of Prakurti (a person’s constitutional type)-brain phenotyping by identifying neurobiological correlates of Ayurveda-based dosha (body, mind and behaviour) in normal individuals. In Ayurveda, a detailed evaluation of each person is carried out. Under this project, we will carry out integrated Ayurveda- and yoga-based clinical trials for major disorders like schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, mood disorders and multiple sclerosis. The research will continue for the next five years.”

On the effect of yoga on patients with opioid addiction, he said, “The problem here is the withdrawal. The patients develop acute stomach pain, sleep disorders etc and here yoga has been very effective. We feel that for patients who are having withdrawal symptoms, yoga has proven to be very effective. Endorphins are natural body chemicals that our body releases when it feels pain. So yoga increases the endorphins and this helps the patients.”

Varambally said that PhD studies at Nimhans had got interesting results through the application of yoga in the area of anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder.
The department has been conducting free daily tele-yoga services for Covid-19 patients since April 2020. Dr Hemant Bhargav, an assistant professor at the department, said this had helped the patients improve not only their oxygen saturation levels but also lung and cardio respiratory functions.

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In 2019, Nimhans became the first national institute to have set up a department of integrative medicine. It follows a model of the systematic integration of a psychiatrist, an Ayurveda expert and a yoga expert who optimise the treatment of a patient.

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First published on: 01-07-2022 at 09:20:07 pm

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