Preventive effects of a 3-month yoga intervention on endothelial function in patients with migraine

Hajar Naji-Esfahani, Mahsa Zamani, Seyed Mohamad Marandi, Vahid Shaygannejad, Shaghayegh Haghjooy Javanmard


Background: Migraine is a neurovascular disorder and any
interventions improving endothelial function may contribute to its treatment and prevention of vascular complications like ischemic stroke. Yoga has been shown to have several beneficial effects on cardiovascular systems. However, no randomized controlled studies to date have investigated its effects on endothelial function
of migraineurs.

Methods: A total of 42 women patients with migraine were
enrolled and randomized into either a Yoga exercise group or
a control group. The control group received only medication for 12 weeks and the Yoga group was placed in yoga training program in addition to the same medical treatment. Blood test was given from all patients in order to measure plasma levels intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM) and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM) after yoga training program.

Results: Totally 32 patients were participated in the final analyses (yoga: n = 18, control: n = 14). By analyzing data between yoga and control groups after the treatment period, there was a significant decreased in plasma level of VCAM in yoga group compare with the control group (15.29 ± 2.1 ng/ml vs. 21.70 ± 3.0 ng/ml, P < 0.05), whereas there was no significant difference in ICAM level between groups (19.1 ± 1.8 ng/ml vs. 20.97 ± 1.9 ng/ml P > 0.05).

Conclusions: It seems that yoga exercises, as a complementary treatment beside pharmacological treatments, can be potentially an effective way of improving vascular functions in migraineurs.

Keywords: Asana, endothelial function, pranayama, yoga

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