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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 96-103
Effect of trataka on cognitive functions in the elderly

Division of Yoga and Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samasthana, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Aarti Jagannathan
Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samasthana 19, Gavipuuram, Kempegowda Nagar 560 019, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: Study conducted as part of the MD degree in ‘Yoga and Rehabilitation, at SVYASA University, Bengaluru,, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-6131.133872

Clinical trial registration CTRI/2013/06/003727

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Background: Trataka, a type of yoga practice is considered to improve cognitive functions. The aim of this study was to test the effect of trataka on cognitive functions of the elderly. Materials and Methods: Elderly subjects were recruited based on inclusion and exclusion criteria (n = 60) and randomly divided using randomized block design into two groups: Trataka and wait list control group. Trataka (a visual cleansing technique) was given for a period of 1 month (26 days). The subjects in both groups were assessed on day 1 (pre- and postintervention in trataka group and after quiet sitting in control group) and on day 30 on Digit Span Test, Six Letter Cancellation Test (SLCT), and Trail Making Test-B (TMT-B). Results: Friedman's test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed that at the 2 nd follow-up there was significant improvement in digit span scores (z = −3.35, P < 0.01) in the trataka group. SLCT scores (t = 5.08, P < 0.01) and TMT-B scores (t = −4.26, P < 0.01) improved immediately after the practice of trataka (when baseline compared to first follow-up). At 1 month follow-up, trataka group showed significantly better performance in the SLCT test compared to baseline (t = −3.93, P < 0.01) and TMT-B scores (t = 7.09, P < 0.01). Repeated measure analysis of variance (RM ANOVA) results also reiterated that there was significant interaction effect at the end of 1 month of trataka intervention as compared to control group on TMT-B and SLCT scores. Conclusions: The results of this study establish that Trataka can be used as a technique to enhance cognition in the elderly.

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