Article

Exercise for the treatment of depression and anxiety.

Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29406, USA.
The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.15). 01/2011; 41(1):15-28.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Depression and anxiety are the most common psychiatric conditions seen in the general medical setting, affecting millions of individuals in the United States. The treatments for depression and anxiety are multiple and have varying degrees of effectiveness. Physical activity has been shown to be associated with decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety. Physical activity has been consistently shown to be associated with improved physical health, life satisfaction, cognitive functioning, and psychological well-being. Conversely, physical inactivity appears to be associated with the development of psychological disorders. Specific studies support the use of exercise as a treatment for depression. Exercise compares favorably to antidepressant medications as a first-line treatment for mild to moderate depression and has also been shown to improve depressive symptoms when used as an adjunct to medications. While not as extensively studied, exercise has been shown to be an effective and cost-efficient treatment alternative for a variety of anxiety disorders. While effective, exercise has not been shown to reduce anxiety to the level achieved by psychopharmaceuticals.

2 Bookmarks
 · 
169 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Monoamine deficit and mitochondrial dysfunction may underlie depression. Serotoninergic neurons from raphe nuclei project widely and may be involved in depression. This study used chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) in rats as a model of depression to assess the effects of CUS, exercise and fluoxetine on mitochondrial function and serotonin levels in the raphe nuclei. Rats were divided into 4 groups (6 per group): control (C); depression (D), CUS for 28days; depression+exercise (DE), treadmill exercises from days 11-28 of CUS; depression+fluoxetine (DF), fluoxetine (5mg/kg/d i.g.) from days 11-28 of CUS. Behavioral changes were assessed using body weight, sucrose consumption tests (anhedonia) and open field tests (locomotor/exploratory behavior). Raphe nucleus mitochondrial function was determined using the respiratory control ratio, ATP synthesis rate, and activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. Serotonin levels were measured in the raphe nuclei and hippocampus. On day 28 of CUS, body weight were higher in group C than in groups D, DE and DF (P<0.001), and higher in group DE than in group D or DF (P<0.05). Sucrose consumption were higher in group C than in groups D, DE and DF (P<0.001), higher in group DE than in groups D (P<0.001) or DF (P<0.05), and higher in group DF than in group D (P<0.05). All measures of mitochondrial function were increased in group D compared with the other groups (P<0.01). Hippocampal serotonin was lower in group D than in the other groups (P<0.01); levels in the raphe nuclei were elevated in group DE compared with the remaining groups (P<0.001). CUS in rats may cause overactivation of mitochondria in the raphe nuclei, and exercise training may suppress these changes.
    Physiology & Behavior 05/2014; · 3.16 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Symptoms of psychological distress are relatively common in spasticity patients as a result either of the primary central nervous system insult or as a reaction to the ensuing impairment. Intrathecal baclofen (ITB) is an established treatment for the spasticity with an unknown effect on the psychiatric symptoms. In this study, we evaluate the role of ITB in the amelioration of psychological distress symptoms in 15 patients who were not mentally disabled or psychotic. The patients were assessed with the Symptom Check List 90-Revised before and a mean of 12 months after ITB treatment. A significant improvement was noted at the subscales of positive symptoms total and anxiety. The anxiety subscale improvement was correlated with the ITB dose, but not with the reduction in the spasticity. An interesting trend was also noted in the subscales of general severity index, depression, and obsession-compulsion. The results show an additional beneficial effect of ITB and highlight the need of further clarification of the causative mechanism.
    Journal of clinical psychopharmacology 04/2014; · 5.09 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Individuals who are intrinsically motivated to exercise are more likely to do so consistently. In previous research, those with at least one copy of the methionine (met) allele in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene (BDNF; rs6265) had greater increases in positive mood and lower perceived exertion during exercise. This study examined whether genotype for BDNF is also related to intrinsic motivation, measured by self-report during a treadmill exercise session and a free-choice behavioral measure (continuing to exercise given the option to stop) among 89 regular exercisers (age M = 23.58, SD = 3.95). Those with at least one copy of the met allele reported greater increases in intrinsic motivation during exercise and were more likely to continue exercising when given the option to stop (55 vs. 33 %). Results suggest that underlying genetic factors may partially influence perceptions of inherent rewards associated with exercise and might inform the development of individually targeted interventions.
    Journal of Behavioral Medicine 05/2014; · 3.10 Impact Factor