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Tackling multiple sclerosis the yoga way: Nimhans to begin study


With a rise in the number of multiple sclerosis cases being reported at Nimhans, experts at the institute have started to study how yoga could help provide relief from the disease.

Speaking to DH on World Multiple Sclerosis Day on Monday, Dr Netravathi, additional professor (Neurology), National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans), said that the institute has taken up two projects to study the efficacy and the benefits yoga can have on patients with multiple sclerosis.

“We are studying the effect of yoga on cognition with imaging in multiple sclerosis. The study is being conducted on 80 patients along with the usual medication. However, to determine how helpful it could be as a standalone therapy, we plan to start another project on 60 patients where we will compare two groups — one with medication and yoga and the other with only medication,” she explained.

That apart, the dedicated multiple sclerosis clinic at the centre, which includes doctors from nine different departments, is also looking at introducing ayurveda for the treatment of the disease.

“Discussions are in progress and we will also need approvals from a few statutory organisations. We plan to start the study in the next two months,” Dr Netravathi said.

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disorder that could result in troubled vision, numbness and muscle weakness.

Doctors at the multiple sclerosis clinic in Nimhans said the number of patients being diagnosed with the disease has increased over the last five years.

“Five years ago, we had only one or two multiple sclerosis patients walking in every month. But now, we see at least five patients every month,” Dr Netravathi said.

Post Covid-19

She added that the number had increased post Covid and they have been seeing nearly seven patients a month over the last six months.

“Many patients had postponed their visit to the hospital owing to the pandemic. Hence, the numbers have been more as the situation gets back to normalcy,” she said.

Nimhans has also developed a registry of multiple sclerosis patients with data on nearly 300 patients being treated by them.

“The number of cases has definitely gone up. We advise those who display the early signs of multiple sclerosis such as unexplained weakness, balance loss and loss of cognitive abilities get themselves tested at the earliest,” said Dr Pratima Murthy, Director of Nimhans.



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