Published: 18th September 2019
Can meditation and yoga be used to treat dementia? This Kerala medical college thinks so
The psychosomatic clinic of the Department of Psychiatry of the Medical College will take the lead in chalking out a programme for using MBI for dementia
Treading the meditative path really does put you in touch with your higher self, your inner guide, and could bring positive results in patients with memory complaints, so believe the doctors of Department of Psychiatry at the Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram. Even as a section of doctors raise questions on the authenticity of using mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) for cancer care, the age-old technique will soon be used as a therapy for reducing anxiety and depression, and thereby the incidence of dementia. The psychosomatic clinic of the Department of Psychiatry of the Medical College will take the lead in chalking out a programme for using MBI for dementia.
However, the Alzheimer's & Related Disorders Society of India differs in this. "There is no scientific backing to this argument," says its chairperson Mera Pattabiraman. "However, there is a probability that it can help dementia patients.
They are awaiting the study conducted by Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) to get a scientific backing for the initiative. “We are in the process of chalking out a programme for using MBI for dementia at the Medical College,” said Dr S Krishnan of the Department of Psychiatry, the programme coordinator.
According to him, the doubts regarding the authenticity could be cleared once the Department of Neurology of SCTIMST released the findings of its study titled ‘The effect of yoga and meditation on neuropsychological functions and brain connectivity networks in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and cognitively normal subjects’.
“The findings might clear the air. The feedback so far has been positive,” Krishnan said.
In 2015-2016 the Department of Science and Technology under its Science and Technology of Yoga and Meditation (SATYAM) programme sanctioned the study proposed by Dr Ramshekhar N Menon of SCTIMST.
“In the study, we focus on elderly people who have memory complaints and analyse whether we could improve their quality of life with the help of mindfulness.” According to him, more comprehensive analysis is needed to evaluate its effectiveness. The results of the study could be released by early next year. The clinic had earlier joined hands with the Radio Therapy Department in providing training to professionals in cancer care, oncology PG students, nurses and psychologist for stress reduction and pain management among cancer patients in the state.