Yoga for Mental Health in Parkinson's Patients
Mental health issues caused by emotional and behavioral changes are common among people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Research from the Parkinson's Foundation's Parkinson's Outcomes Project has found that anxiety and depression play a key role in the disease's impact on people's quality of life. The death of dopamine-producing cells in the brain affects both movement and mood. As a result, both anxiety and depression are common non-motor symptoms of the disease rather than reactions to the diagnosis.
According to the Parkinson's Outcomes Project, during their illness:
At least 50% of people will experience some form of depression
At least 40% of people will experience an anxiety disorder
Forms of anxiety include Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety Attacks, Social Avoidance, and OCD1. Depression in Parkinson's disease often manifests as dissatisfaction with life, sadness, irritability, pessimism, and suicidal thoughts.
Meditative techniques have been shown to effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Treating these non-motor symptoms can have a positive impact on people with Parkinson's disease by decreasing disability and improving their quality of life.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of a set of simple, safe and scalable, digitally delivered meditation and breathing practices on the neuropsychological and movement disorder symptoms in patients with Parkinson's Disease over a period of 18-20 weeks. The intervention consists of a Yogic Breathing practice (Nadi Shuddhi) and two guided meditations (Isha Kriya and Nada Yoga). Our recent studies using similar interventions have shown feasibility and acceptance as well as Improved perceived stress in healthy subjects.
The subjects will be randomized into two groups after they agree to participate in the study, an intervention group (Group 1) and a waitlisted control group (Group 2). Both groups will learn and practice the intervention for 12 weeks total.The intervention is made of a Yogic Breathing practice (Nadi Shuddhi) and two guided meditations (Isha Kriya and Nada Yoga). Both groups will also take study surveys at 4 timepoints which are each 6 weeks apart (Baseline, T2, T3, and T4). The study surveys consist of an online survey and a clinician, phone administered survey.
This trial will be conducted in 2 phases:
Phase 1: If participants are in the intervention group, they will be asked to learn the practices first for 6 weeks, from T1-T2. They will be asked to complete weekly activity logs for these 6 weeks and the study survey at T2 (6 weeks after learning the intervention). Participants in the waitlisted control group will be asked to perform their regular daily routine as they wait to be enrolled into the intervention at T2 (6 weeks after Baseline). The waitlisted control group will also complete the study survey at T2.
Phase 2: After T2, the intervention group is no longer asked to attend weekly review webinars but they will continue to do weekly activity logs for 6 weeks until until T3. They will then complete the study survey at T3. After T3, they will not be sent any activity logs for the next 6 weeks until T4. At T4, they will be asked to complete the study survey and satisfaction survey. The waitlisted control group will begin the intervention at T2 and will attend review webinars for 6 weeks until T3 at which they will complete the study survey. After T3, they are no longer asked to attend weekly webinars but they will continue to do weekly activity logs for 6 weeks until until T4. At T4, they will be asked to complete the study survey and satisfaction survey.