BOSTON, Aug. 21 (UPI) — Yoga may positively affect mood and decrease anxiety — and may be therapeutically beneficial for some mental disorders, U.S. researchers said.
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine say they found a connection between yoga and levels of a neuro-transmitter called gamma-aminobutyric. Increased gamma-aminobutyric availability is linked to greater relaxation, less anxiety and anti-convulsive effects.
The study findings, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, indicate those who practice yoga report greater decreases in anxiety and more improvement in mood than those who walked.
“Over time, positive changes in these reports were associated with climbing gamma-aminobutyric levels,” study lead author Dr. Chris Streeter said in a statement.
Streeter and colleagues compared two randomized groups of healthy individuals during a 12-week period. One group practiced yoga three times a week for one hour, while the other group walked the same period of time.
Magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging was used to scan the participants’ brains before the study began and at week 12. The researchers compared the gamma-aminobutyric levels of both groups before and after their final session.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.