TITLE: Preliminary indications of the effect of a brief yoga intervention on markers of inflammation and DNA methylation in chronically stressed women.
PUBLICATION: Translational Psychiatry
DATE: November 2016
AUTHORS : Harkess KN, Ryan J, Delfabbro PH, Cohen-Woods S
DNA Methylation: DNA methylation is an epigenetic change that has a role in regulating gene expression and is studied due its potential effects on a wide range of conditions and diseases. Methylation is part of a larger field of science – epigenetics.
DNA methylation occurs when DNA expressions (not the DNA code itself) are altered by epigenetics. Factors such as nutrition, environment, experience, exercise, and aging affect methylation – whether the genes are turned “on” or “off”.
Inflammation: a protective biological response to potentially harmful stimuli. Inflammation is a stage of the biological healing process. It becomes a problem when it becomes chronic.
Cytokines: substances that are secreted by cells of the immune system. They have an effect on other cells. The three cytokines they analyzed in this study were interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor (TNF), and C-reactive protein (CRP). These are some of the inflammation markers that can be measured and analyzed.
Wait-list control: a group of participants included in a study that is assigned to a temporary waiting list that later receives intervention after the active treatment group. It is not an active control group which would receive a placebo treatment. It is not considered to be as reliable as active control groups however it is often used in psychological studies.