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Keywords:

  • cognition;
  • schizophrenia;
  • yoga

Bhatia T, Agarwal A, Shah G, Wood J, Richard J, Gur RE, Gur RC, Nimgaonkar VL, Mazumdar S, Deshpande SN. Adjunctive cognitive remediation for schizophrenia using yoga: an open, non-randomised trial.

Background: Yoga therapy (YT) improves cognitive function in healthy individuals, but its impact on cognitive function among persons with schizophrenia (SZ) has not been investigated.

Objective: To evaluate the adjunctive YT for cognitive domains impaired in SZ.

Methods: Patients with SZ received YT or treatment as usual (TAU; n = 65, n = 23, respectively). Accuracy and speed for seven cognitive domains were assessed using a computerised neurocognitive battery (CNB), thus minimising observer bias. Separately, YT was evaluated among patients with bipolar I disorder (n = 40), major depressive disorder (n = 37) and cardiology outpatients (n = 68). All patients also received routine pharmacotherapy. Patients were not randomised to YT or TAU.

Results: In comparison with the SZ/TAU group, the SZ/YT group showed significantly greater improvement with regard to measures of attention following corrections for multiple comparisons; the changes were more prominent among the men. In the other diagnostic groups, differing patterns of improvements were noted with small-to-medium effect sizes.

Conclusions: Our initial analyses suggest nominally significant improvement in cognitive function in SZ with adjunctive therapies such as YT. The magnitude of the change varies by cognitive domain and may also vary by diagnostic group.