The comparison of the effect of yoga and aquatic exercises on depression and fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis
Background: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic progressive disease, which influences the brain, spinal cord and other parts of nervous system. Daily life of patients with moderate to severe MS may be influenced by various emotional and physical issues, such as reduced mobility, low quality of life, long-term depression, fatigue, and anxiety. Objective: The purpose of this study was to test if adjuvant non-pharmacological interventions such as yoga and aquatic exercises had a favorable influence on depression and fatigue in patients with MS. Method: Fifty four patients suffering from MS (age: 20–50 years; EDSS ≤ 6), were enrolled in a randomized clinical trial study from Kermanshah Multiple Sclerosis Association (Kermanshah, Iran). During the study participants’ immune modulatory therapy remained unchanged. The participants were randomly assigned to one of the following study conditions: yoga, aquatic exercise, and a control condition. Psychological and somatic parameters such as symptoms of depression and fatigue were assessed at baseline and 8 weeks later. Results: Compared to the control condition, symptoms of depression and fatigue decreased significantly in both the yoga and aquatic exercise groups, with no statistically significant differences between the two intervention groups. Conclusion: Data suggest that both aquatic exercise and yoga might improve symptoms related to MS such as depression and fatigue, as compared to a control condition.