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Yoga For Rehabilitation - An Overview
Yoga is an ancient Indian science and way of life. The practice of yoga has been shown to be therapeutically useful in bronchial asthma,1.2 type II diabetes Mellitus,3.4 hypertension,5 as well as other Psychosomatic ailments. The practice of yoga can also play a role in the rehabilitation of physically and mentally handicapped persons, as well as those who are socially disadvantaged.   Read More...

The integrated approach of yoga: a therapeutic tool for mentally retarded children: a one-year controlled study
Abstract: Ninety children with mental retardation of mild, moderate and severe degree were selected from four special schools in Bangalore, India. Forty-five children underwent yogic training for one academic year (5h in every week) with an integrated set of yogic practices, including breathing exercises and pranayama, sithilikarana vyayama (loosening exercises), suryanamaskar, yogasanas and meditation. They were compared before and after yogic training with a control group of 45 mentally retarded children matched for chronological age, sex, IQ, socio-economic status and socio environmental background who were not exposed to yoga training but continued their usual school routine during that period. There was highly significant improvement in the IQ and social adaptation parameters in the yoga group as compared to the control group. This study shows the efficacy of yoga as an effective therapeutic tool in the management of mentally retarded children.  Read More...

Sudomotor Sympathetic Hypofunction in down's Syndrome
Abstract : General sympathetic dysfunction has been proposed as an explanation for the inability to reach normal heightened attention in Down's syndrome (DS). The present study on 15 DS subjects (group average age ± SD, 14.3 ± 3.6 years; 11 males) and in an equal number of age - and gender - matched normal subjects (NS), evaluated activity in different subdivisions of the sympathetic nervous system. DS subjects had (i) lower skin conductance levels (i.e., lower sudomotor sympathetic activity) and (ii) higher heart rates than NS. In response to auditory stimuli, DS subjects showed abnormal SSR responses (also indicating sudomotor sympathetic activity) but normal cutaneous vasoconstriction. Hence the results suggest that sympathetic dysfunction in DS is restricted to the sudomotor subdivision, activity of which has been associated with attention and recognition.  Read More...

Middle Latency Auditory Evoked Potentials in Congenitally Blind and Normal Sighted Subjects
Middle latency auditory evoked potentials were recorded in two groups of ten subjects each, viz, congenitally blind (CB) and age-matched subjects with normal vision (NV). The age range for both groups was 13 to 16 years. The CB group subject had peripheral deficits, with absence of visual evoked responses. The peak latency, of the Nb wave (the maximum negativity between 38 and 48 ms) was significantly lower in the CB group compared to NV group (P < .05, one-tailed, two factor ANOVA, Tukey test). In addition to these recordings from the vertex, recordings were also made from occipital areas, to test whether the visual cortex contributes to information processing at primary auditory cortical levels in the blind, as was reported in earlier studies on the generation of potentials during auditory selective attention. No such effect was observed. Hence, it appears that in blind subjects changes in generators of auditory middle latency evoked potential, are mainly related to latency, rather than to scalp distribution of these components.  Read More...

Shorter Latencies of Components of Middle Latency Auditory Evoked Potentials in Congenitally Blind Compared to Normal Sighted Subjects  
A previous study which reported shorter latencies of the Nb component of AEP-MLRS in congenitally blind compared to normal sighted subjects, formed the basis for the present study. The blind subjects had received a rehabilitation program from the age of 4 years onwards, which may have influenced auditory function. Hence the present study was designed to compare the AEP MLRs of normal sighted subjects with age-matched blind subjects who had not undergone early rehabilitation. Auditory evoked potentials (0 to 100 ms. range) were recorded in 10 congenitally blind subjects (average age = 22.4 + 4.9 yrs.) and an equal number of age matched subjects with normal vision. There were two repetitions per subject. The peak latencies of both the Pa (maximum positive peak between Na and 35 ms.) and Nb (maximum negative peak between 38 and 52 ms.) waves was significantly shorter in congenitally blind compared to normal sighted subjects. Since the Pa and Nb waves are believed to be generated by the superior temporal cortex (Heschl's gyrus), it appears that processing at this neural level occurs more efficiently in the blind. Also, in spite of the absence of an early rehabilitation program the present subjects showed the same auditory changes as those reported earlier.  Read More...

Difference Between Congenitally Blind and Normally Sighted Subjects in the P1 Component of Middle Latency Auditory Evoked Potentials1
Summary: Auditory evoked potentials (0 to 100 msec. range) were recorded two times for 9 congenitally blind children (age= 14.1 yr. ± 1.4 yr.) and 9 age-matched children with normal vision. The groups peak latency and amplitude of the P1 wave were compared. The peak latency was significantly lower for the congenitally blind than for the normally sighted on a two-factor analysis of variance. Since the P1 wave is thought to correspond to either the ascending, reticular activating system or the primary auditory cortex, these results suggest that information processing at these neural levels may occur more efficiently in the blind.  Read More...

Autonomic and Respiratory Measures in Children with Impaired Vision following Yoga and Physical Activity Programs
Abstract: We conducted assessments of twenty eight children with impaired vision (VI group), with ages ranging from twelve to seventeen years and in an equal number of age-matched, normal sighted children (NS group). The VI group had significantly higher rates of breathing, heart rates, and diastolic blood pressure values, compared to the NS group (Mann- Whitney U test). Twenty four of the VI group formed pairs matched for age and degree of blindness and were randomly assigned to two groups, viz. yoga and physical activity. Both groups spent an hour each day practicing yoga or working in the garden depending on their group. After 3 weeks, the yoga group showed a significant decrease in breath rate (Wilcoxon paired signed ranks test). There was no change after the physical activity program. The results showed that the visually impaired have higher physiological arousal than the normal sighted with a marginal reduction in arousal following yoga.  Read More...

Yoga for the Rehabilitation of Socially Disadvantaged and Visually Impaired Subject
Abstract: This study was designed (i) to compare autonomic parameters in two categories of subjects (age range 12 to 17 years), viz. community home girls (CH, n=20) who were admitted due to problems in adjusting in society, and congenitally blind subjects (CB, n=28) with appropriate age-matched, control groups i.e. children staying at home and those with normal vision, respectively, (ii) to compare the effect of yoga with games (n= 14 each) in the CH group and the effects of yoga with gardening (n=12 each) in the CB group. Polygraphic recordings were made of respiration, EKG, and skin resistance. The community home group were randomly assigned to yoga and games groups and followed up after six months, while for the congenitally blind group subjects were randomly assigned to yoga and physical activity group with a follow up after three weeks. In the first comparison community home girls had significantly faster, irregular breathing (indicative of anxiety) and lower skill resistance, while blind children had faster, irregular breathing and higher heart rates and diastolic blood pressure values. In the second comparison the yoga groups of both categories of subjects showed a decrease in breath rate, which became more rhythmic. Hence a yoga program including relaxation and awareness is useful in the rehabilitation of these subjects.  Read More...

Muscle Power Dexterity skill and Visual Perception in Community home girls trained in yoga or sports and in regular school girls
Abstract: The present study was conducted to compare critical flicker fusion frequency (CFF), degree of optical illusion ("di"), dexterity scores, and grip strength in three groups of subjects, viz community home girls who had learned yoga for 6 months (CHY), age-matched community home girls who had physical activity training for 6 months (CHP), and girls who were attending a regular school (SCH). There were equal numbers in each group for each of the 4 assessment (range 11 to 30 subjects) and age range was 12 to 16 years. The CHP group had significantly lower CFF and "di" was significantly higher (one factor ANOVA, t test for unpaired data) in the CHP group, both compared to CHY and SCH groups. Right hand grip strength was also significantly less in the CHP group compared to SCH. The results were explained by previous reports of high levels of anxiety and aggression in community-home groups, which is known to influence the four parameters described here. The better performance of the CHY group compared to CHP, suggested that yoga practice has a beneficial effect in these subjects.  Read More...

Comparison of Changes in Automatic and Respiratory Parameters of Girls After Yoga and Games at a Community Home
Summary: The heart rate, breathing rate, and skin resistance were recorded for 20 community home girls (Home group) and for 20 age-matched girls from a regular school (School group). The former group had a significantly higher rate of breathing and a more irregular breath pattern, known to correlate with high fear and anxiety, than the School group. Skin resistance was significantly lower in the School group, which may suggest greater arousal. 28 girls of the Home group formed 14 pairs, matched for age and duration of stay in the home. Subjects of a pair were randomly assigned to either yoga or games groups. For the former, emphasis was on relaxation and awareness, whereas for the latter increasing physical activity was emphasized. At the end of an hour daily for six months both groups showed a significant decrease in the resting heart rate relative to initial values (Wilcoxon paired-sample test), and the yoga group showed a significant decrease in breath rate, which appeared more regular but no significant increase in the skin resistance. These results suggest that a yoga program which includes relaxation, awareness, and graded physical activity is a useful addition to the routine of community home children.  Read More...

Effects of Yoga on Schizophrenics
Meditation has been gaining popularity as a psychotherapeutic intervention (Frith et al, 1979). However adverse effects of meditation have also been reported, viz. depersonalisation, altered reality testing, and the appearance of previously repressed, highly charged memories and conflicts (Glueck & Stroebel, 1976; Kennedy, 1976). Another report described how acute psychotic episodes were precipitated by intensive meditation in patients with a history of schizophrenia (Hasarus, 1976). Nevertheless the practice of yoga has potential benefits in schizophrenia by increasing the awareness (internal and external) along with relaxation. Hence the present study was designed to assess the benefits of diverse yoga practices in a mixed group of schizophrenics. Both clinical assessment and psychophysiological recordings were used to monitor their progress. In particular, since the electrodermal activity have already been widely studied in schizophrenics (Merkin 1985), the present study included a polygraphic recording of the skin resistance level (SPL) in these patients.  Read More...

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