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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 158-162
Kundalini Yoga Intervention Increases Hippocampal Volume in Older Adults: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial


1 Geri-PARTy Research Group, Jewish General Hospital; Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
2 Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory, McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging, Alzheimer's Disease Research Unit, Douglas Research Institute, Le Centre Intégré Universitaire de santé et de Services Sociaux (CIUSSS) de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal; Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Psychiatry and Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
3 Department of Psychiatry, McGill University; Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Montreal, QC, Canada
4 Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
5 Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory, McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging, Alzheimer's Disease Research Unit, Douglas Research Institute, Le Centre Intégré Universitaire de santé et de Services Sociaux (CIUSSS) de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal; Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Psychiatry and Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University; Montreal Neurological Institute, Montreal, Canada
6 Brain and Mind Centre and School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
7 Department of Psychiatry, McGill University; Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Michael Lifshitz
Room 229, Institute for Community and Family Psychiatry, 4333 Chemin De La Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, Quebec, H3t 1e4
Canada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijoy.ijoy_25_22

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Background: Among a rapidly aging population, there is increased need for neuroprotective interventions promoting healthy neurological aging. Mind-body interventions, such as Kundalini yoga, are actively being explored as accessible means to encourage healthy aging. However, little remains known about the neurobiological effects of Kundalini yoga. Aims: This pilot randomized-controlled trial (RCT) examined the potential neuroprotective effects of Kundalini yoga in older adults. Methods: We conducted an RCT with 11 healthy meditation-naïve older adults. Participants were randomized to a Kundalini yoga or psychoeducation intervention. Structural magnetic resonance imaging data were obtained at baseline and 12-week follow-up. The primary outcome measure was gray matter volume of the bilateral hippocampi and bilateral posterior cingulate cortex. Results: We found significant right hippocampal volume increases specific to the Kundalini yoga group (P = 0.034, ηp2 = 0.408). Conclusions: These findings provide initial neurobiological support for the neuroprotective effects of Kundalini yoga.


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