Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exercise can substitute effectively as second 'medication' for people with depression, study suggests

Date:
August 24, 2011
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Exercise can be as effective as a second medication for as many as half of depressed patients whose condition have not been cured by a single antidepressant medication.

Exercise can be as effective as a second medication for as many as half of depressed patients whose condition have not been cured by a single antidepressant medication.

UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists involved in the investigation, recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, found that both moderate and intense levels of daily exercise can work as well as administering a second antidepressant drug, which is often used when initial medications don't move patients to remission. The type of exercise needed, however, depends on the characteristics of patients, including their gender.

These findings are the result of a four-year study conducted by UT Southwestern's psychiatry department in conjunction with the Cooper Institute in Dallas. The National Institute of Mental Health-funded study, begun in 2003, is one of the first controlled investigations in the U.S. to suggest that adding a regular exercise routine, combined with targeted medications, actually can relieve fully the symptoms of major depressive disorder.

"Many people who start on an antidepressant medication feel better after they begin treatment, but they still don't feel completely well or as good as they did before they became depressed," said Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, professor of psychiatry and the study's lead author. "This study shows that exercise can be as effective as adding another medication. Many people would rather use exercise than add another drug, particularly as exercise has a proven positive effect on a person's overall health and well-being."

Study participants diagnosed with depression, who ranged in age from 18 to 70 and who had not remitted with treatment using a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant medication, were divided into two groups. Each group received a different level of exercise intensity for 12 weeks. Sessions were supervised by trained staff at the Cooper Institute and augmented by home-based sessions.

Participants -- whose average depression length was seven years -- exercised on treadmills, cycle ergometers or both, kept an online diary of frequency and length of sessions, and wore a heart-rate monitor while exercising at home. They also met with a psychiatrist during the study.

By the end of the investigation, almost 30 percent of patients in both groups achieved full remission from their depression, and another 20 percent significant displayed improvement, based on standardized psychiatric measurements. Moderate exercise was more effective for women with a family history of mental illness, whereas intense exercise was more effective with women whose families did not have a history of the disease. For men, the higher rate of exercise was more effective regardless of other characteristics.

"This is an important result in that we found that the type of exercise that is needed depends on specific characteristics of the patient, illustrating that treatments may need to be tailored to the individual," said Dr. Trivedi, director of the Mood Disorders Research Program and Clinic at UT Southwestern. "It also points to a new direction in trying to determine factors that tell us which treatment may be the most effective."

Other researchers from UT Southwestern involved in the study were Dr. Tracy Greer, assistant professor of psychiatry; Dr. Thomas Carmody, assistant professor of clinical sciences and psychiatry; Dr. Prabha Sunderajan, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry; and Bruce Grannemann, faculty associate in psychiatry. Scientists from Louisiana State University, South Carolina State University, the American Psychological Association, Martindale Research Corp. and Klein Buendel Inc. also contributed.

In addition to NIMH funding, the study was supported by grants and awards from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, and the National Cancer Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Exercise can substitute effectively as second 'medication' for people with depression, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824091522.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2011, August 24). Exercise can substitute effectively as second 'medication' for people with depression, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824091522.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Exercise can substitute effectively as second 'medication' for people with depression, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824091522.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins