Government Watch

Feds Spend $160K to Study Yoga as Treatment for Schizophrenia–In India

from – by Elizabeth Harrington –

The federal government spent more than $160,000 to test yoga as a treatment for schizophrenia in New Delhi, India.

The project, entitled “The Impact of Yoga Supplementation on Cognitive Function Among Indian Outpatients,” is being funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant justifies basing the study in India because there are “twice as many” cases of schizophrenia there than in the United States.

“The proposed studies may lead to better treatment for schizophrenia using the ancient practice of Yoga,” the grant states.

Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi has received $160,055 from the NIH, securing more than $50,000 in grants each year since 2010, administered by the Fogarty International Center.

The study is being led by Dr. Triptish Bhatia, a post-doctoral scholar at the hospital.

Yoga, a blend of physical, mental and spiritual exercise, has been practiced in India for over 5,000 years. It is also one of the classic systems of Hinduism, the religion practiced by roughly 80 percent of the population of India. Yoga is defined as “a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation.”

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by delusions and bizarre behavior. Its cause is unknown.

“Schizophrenia is a common, severe disorder for which treatment is inadequate and unpredictable at present,” the grant states. “Its causation is uncertain. Its lifetime prevalence is approximately 1% world-wide. It is estimated that there are approximately 2.2 million [schizophrenia] patients in the USA at present and over twice this number in India.”

“As it is a lifetime condition, [schizophrenia] entails enormous morbidity and public health costs, world-wide,” the grant continues. “Cognitive impairment is a key disabling feature of [schizophrenia].”

“Currently, medications offer only modest benefits for the cognitive dysfunction,” it states. “Hence, non- pharmacological interventions are worth consideration.”

The grant adds that yoga is “known to enhance cognitive abilities in healthy persons,” and could potentially help mentally impaired persons as well. “Our preliminary studies have shown for the first time that there may be remarkable improvement in selected cognitive domains among outpatients with [schizophrenia],” it states.

The project involves a controlled experiment to test the effectiveness of yoga on Schizophrenic patients for 21 days.

The “novel method” will then be used for further studies, to see how yoga treatment works with medications.

The study could receive additional funding on top of the $160,055 because its project end date is not until July 2015.

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drashok singhal
7 years ago

schizophrenia can be treated with rTMS .New technology in India also available at AIIMS hospital New Delhi and some other leading Hospitals in India and with us at New Delhi .This technology is widely used in USA ,Europe,Russia,Israel and many western countries for past 50 years , approved by FDA ,USA in some treatment even NASA has done 5 year research on this technology. More than 10000 research papers are available world wide including India No drugs no surgery and absolute zero side effects You can see improvement within 45 to 60 sessions and each session duration is one hour daily.
Google pemfindia to see us

6 years ago

can negative effects of schizorphenia can be treated by r TMS……..

7 years ago

Study the issue here here in the United States where our citizens will seek benefits and treatments, not outside the US

Robert Pownell
7 years ago

If yoga is a Hindu religious rite, why don’t we also study the affects of prayer on the mentally AND physically ill in the USA? The answer to anyone with a brain cell left is obvious but at least the money spent would be in our economy and not a foreign government. Do it not stike you as funny that the government can spend money in India on religion or at least a religious rite and we cannot take a Bible into our public schools?

Deborah Neal
7 years ago
Reply to  Robert Pownell

Total agreement! Stay strong in our defense. In God we Trust.

Deborah Neal
7 years ago
Reply to  Robert Pownell

As a Christian with MS, The Bible learning I do every day heals my mind and symptoms. I do specific excercises to help. This project should be kept at home, in the USA. Our government has become a world candy store with our much needed money.

7 years ago

The NIH should be looking to help Americans. We don’t have a “world government” (yet!). It is time for some oversight to shut down these ridiculous programs that waste our resources and abuse their positions.

7 years ago

There is a study put out every year that documents hundreds of such wasteful programs. The total adds up to hundreds of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. Congress looks at it and tosses it in the garbage. This is not doubt one of the many items in that annual report.

Deborah Neal
7 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

I wonder, if we all know the waste, why don’t people stand up for change? At least those who not only care about the future of America, but recognise what is being taken from them.

7 years ago
Reply to  Deborah Neal

The short answer is apathy. Sad, but true.

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