November 30, 2023

Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder that affects approximately 50 million people worldwide. The cause of epilepsy is often unknown, but it can be linked to an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. In Israel, about 85,000 people experience unpredictable seizures due to epilepsy, which can lead to depression and hinder performance in school and work. Unfortunately, there is a significant stigma surrounding epilepsy, causing those with the condition to feel isolated and different.

A recent study conducted in India has shown that practicing yoga can reduce anxiety, feelings of stigma, and even the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy. The research, published in the journal Neurology of the American Academy of Neurology, was conducted by Dr. Manjari Tripathi of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

The study involved 160 adults with epilepsy who experienced stigma related to their condition. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either yoga therapy or a sham yoga therapy. The group that practiced real yoga showed a reduction in perceived stigma, a decrease in seizure frequency, and improvements in anxiety symptoms, quality of life, and mindfulness compared to those who did the sham yoga. After the study, Dr. Tripathi concluded that yoga not only reduces stigma but also improves overall quality of life and mindfulness. She also emphasized that yoga can be easily shared with patients online, offering an alternative and cost-effective therapy option for people with epilepsy.