BUSM’s Streeter Continues to Find Connections Between Yoga, Improved Mood

in Uncategorized
October 25th, 2013

Yoga – whether it’s your cup of tea or not – may be more than just a form of alternative exercise according to BUSM Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology Chris Streeter, MD.Flickr photo courtesy of Teddy Evans

In her research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Streeter found that those who practiced yoga, compared with walkers, had greater improvements in mood and a decrease in anxiety. This study is the first to demonstrate a relationship between increased levels of GABA, a neuro-transmitter that is associated with improved mood and decreased anxiety, and yoga using scans of the physiological changes in the brain.

To take the next step in validating yoga’s potential to treat depression and anxiety, Streeter is conducting another study to evaluate the effectiveness of yoga for symptoms of depression, a disorder where GABA levels have been shown to be low and increase when treated with antidepressants like Prozac. She is recruiting people for the study with mild to moderate depression without suicidal ideation who are not on medication for depression who are interested in participating. For more information or to participate in the study, call the research line at 617-638-8046 or email yogast@bu.edu.