DRDO includes yoga as part of study

via PNS | New Delhi published on July 11, 2011

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has included Yoga as part of study in the joint research centre set up in Kyrgzstan for high altitude diseases and their treatment.

The centre will study acclimatisation at heights above 10,000 feet by the Indians and Kyrgzis population as the Indian troops are deployed at those heights be it Siachen or Nathu La in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Kyrgyz India Mountain Biomedical Research Centre was inaugurated by Defence Minister AK Antony during his two-day visit there last week. This Centre was established by DRDO under a project with a budget of 1.5 million US dollars (`6.0 crores) for a joint collaborative R&D study with National Centre for Cardiology and Internal Medicine (NCCIM) of Kyrgyzstan.

The centre aims at expanding non-military sector cooperation where DRDO could offer technologies for High Altitude based agriculture, food processing and animal husbandry in mountains.

The DRDO has specialised life sciences laboratories within the country for improving health and operational efficiency of the troops in high altitude where they are deployed in temperatures ranging from minus ten to 30 degrees and thin air, sources said.

The centre in Kyrgzstan will study physiological, metabolic and molecular markers of acclimatisation to high altitude and comparison among the two populations, viz, Indian and Kyrgyz, identification of predictive markers for individuals susceptible to high altitude maladies and strategies for rapid and efficient acclimatisation.

In this regard, impact of yoga in improving performance at heights where breathing is a tough proposition let alone fighting a war will be studied, DRDO sources said here on Sunday.

Moreover, nutritional and pharmacological interventions, improvement in physical endurance and treatment of some pathological conditions such as bronchial asthma, vascular diseases, anemia, hypertension and others by moderate altitude exposure will also be studied.

In fact, the collaboration in this venture started way back in 1999 when a group of Indian scientists visited Kyrgyztan a joint research project, “Study of Physiological Mechanism of Human Adaptation to High Altitude in Population to Evaluate and Increase their Acclimatisation at High Altitude.” Detailed studies of physiological mechanism of acclimatisation on ten soldiers each from Indian and Kyrgyz army were also carried out there.

The project yielded important findings on the mechanism of acclimatisation to high altitude and identification of a few subtle differences in the two populations viz., Indian and Kyrgyzis in respect of their adaptive mechanism. A few physiological and genetic markers were found associated with better performance while acclimatising at high altitude, officials said.

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