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Effects of yoga practice in the aging brain - cross-sectional study

Grant number: 15/18262-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2016
Effective date (End): December 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Principal researcher:Elisa Harumi Kozasa
Grantee:Rui Ferreira Afonso
Home Institution: Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein (IIEPAE). Sociedade Beneficente Israelita Brasileira Albert Einstein (SBIBAE). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Introduction: The proportion of people over 60 years of age is growing more rapidly than any other age group. This issue challenges society to adapt in order to maximize not only the health and functional capacity of this age group, but also their social participation and security. In the aging brain, there is a decline in number of synapses, white matter and vascular changes in brain connectivity. However, there is now evidence demonstrating that the effects of yoga in body can be beneficial during this aging process. Objectives: To compare brain structure and function in seniors who have regularly practiced yoga at least twice a week for three years, with seniors who do not. In addition, we will compare performance in motor speed and strength tests. Methods: Yoga practitioners who have regularly practiced yoga at least twice a week for three years will be recruited to make up the Yoga Group and compared with a control group of volunteers with the same characteristics who do not practice yoga. Participants must be at least 60 years of age, female, have completed elementary school or higher and have no symptoms of dementia. Volunteers will be evaluated through questionnaires about their mental health status, through manual skill and strength tests and through structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (same evaluations performed in control group). Data obtained from questionnaires and physical tests will be analyzed with the program SPSS 17.0. Structural analysis of magnetic resonance imaging will be performed using the program FreeSurfer and resting-state images will be performed using the program FSL.Keywords: aging, elderly, yoga, meditation.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
AFONSO, RUI F.; BALARDIN, JOANA B.; LAZAR, SARA; SATO, JOAO R.; IGARASHI, NADJA; SANTAELLA, DANILO F.; LACERDA, SHIRLEY S.; AMARO, JR., EDSON; KOZASA, ELISA H. Greater Cortical Thickness in Elderly Female Yoga Practitioners-A Cross-Sectional Study. FRONTIERS IN AGING NEUROSCIENCE, v. 9, JUN 20 2017. Web of Science Citations: 5.

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