Running is rewarding and antidepressive

Karolinska Institutet, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, S-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden.
Physiology & Behavior (Impact Factor: 3.03). 10/2007; 92(1-2):136-40. DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.05.015
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Natural behaviors such as eating, drinking, reproduction and exercise activate brain reward pathways and consequently the individual engages in these behaviors to receive the reward. However, drugs of abuse are even more potent in activating the reward pathways. Rewarding behaviors and addictive drugs also affect other parts of the brain not directly involved in the mediation of reward. For instance, running increases neurogenesis in hippocampus and is beneficial as an antidepressant in a genetic animal model of depression and in depressed humans. Here we discuss and compare neurochemical and functional changes in the brain after addictive drugs and exercise with a focus on brain reward pathways and hippocampus.

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Available from: Stefan Brené, Aug 17, 2015
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    • "It may be considered a classic example of self-rewarding behavior (Brene et al. 2007; Garland et al. 2011b; Kagan and Berkum 1954; Novak et al. 2012; Sherwin 1998). Indeed, rodents show conditioned place preference to the location associated with wheel running (Lett et al. 2000) and are willing to perform an instrumental reaction in order to obtain access to the running wheel (Belke and Garland, 2007; Kagan and Berkum 1954). "
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery of genetic variants that underlie a complex phenotype is challenging. One possible approach to facilitate this endeavor is to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) that contribute to the phenotype and consequently unravel the candidate genes within these loci. Each proposed candidate locus contains multiple genes and, therefore, further analysis is required to choose plausible candidate genes. One of such methods is to use comparative genomics in order to narrow down the QTL to a region containing only few genes. We illustrate this strategy by applying it to genetic findings regarding physical activity (PA) in mice and human. Here, we show that PA is a complex phenotype with a strong biological basis and complex genetic architecture. Furthermore, we provide considerations for the translatability of this phenotype between species. Finally, we review studies which point to candidate genetic regions for PA in humans (genetic association and linkage studies) or use mouse models of PA (QTL studies) and we identify candidate genetic regions that overlap between species. Based on a large variety of studies in mice and human, statistical analysis reveals that the number of overlapping regions is not higher than expected on a chance level. We conclude that the discovery of new candidate genes for complex phenotypes, such as PA levels, is hampered by various factors, including genetic background differences, phenotype definition and a wide variety of methodological differences between studies.
    Genes Brain and Behavior 10/2013; 13(1). DOI:10.1111/gbb.12091 · 3.51 Impact Factor
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    • "Long-distance running is becoming increasingly popular among recreational sports participants. Many health benefits of long-distance running have been reported, such as improvement of psychological vitality, endurance capacity, and weight reduction (Melzer & Pichard, 2004; Brené et al., 2007). Furthermore, long-distance running is associated with reduced disability in later life and a notable survival advantage (Chakravarty et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: To describe the incidence, 12-month prevalence, and course of lower extremity injuries that occurred during and after the Amgen Singelloop Breda in 2009. The design was based on a prospective cohort study with a population-based setting. In total, 3605 registered runners received a web-based baseline questionnaire of which 713 participants completed and returned it. Information about previous injuries, training programs, and demographic data were gathered at baseline. Site and intensity of running injuries and occurrence of new injuries were obtained from five post-race questionnaires. The main outcome measurement was lower extremity injury. The incidence of running injuries during the Amgen Singelloop Breda itself was 7.8%; most of these injuries occurred in the calf muscle, thigh, and knee joint. Three-month incidence of injuries during follow-up varied between 13.5% and 16.3%. During the 12-month follow-up period, 277 new running injuries were reported. Runners who ran more than 10 km are more susceptible to injury in comparison with runners who ran short distances (10 km or less). In total, 69.1% of running injuries resolves within 10 days. Running injuries are very common among recreational runners. Injuries mostly occur in the knee, thigh, and calf muscle.
    Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 08/2013; 24(6). DOI:10.1111/sms.12110 · 3.17 Impact Factor
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    • "Evidence from several studies (Bednarczyk et al., 2009; Fuss et al., 2010a,b; Onksen et al., 2012) has shown that, similar to our findings, running elicits anxiogenic behavioural effects on several measures of anxiety, including the light –dark box. Interestingly, these studies have linked the anxiogenic effect to running-induced elevations in hippocampal cell proliferation and neurogenesis, a well-establish cellular effect of running (van Praag et al., 1999; Clark et al., 2010) believed to mediate its antidepressive effect (Brene et al., 2007). At present, it is unknown how increased cell turnover in the hippocampus could lead to increased anxiety and further research will be required to understand the molecular basis of the behavioural consequence. "
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    ABSTRACT: Withdrawal from a chronic period of alcohol consumption is commonly associated with the manifestation of depression, potentially exerting a significant influence on treatment prospects and increasing the likelihood of relapse. Better therapeutic strategies need to be developed to assist with rehabilitation. Here, we report the detection of depression-related behaviours in a mouse model of 6-week free-choice ethanol (10%, v/v) consumption followed by 2-week abstinence. Mice abstinent from alcohol showed increased immobility time on the forced-swim test, reduced saccharin consumption and increased latency to feed in the novelty-suppressed feeding test. By comparison, there was no significant effect on anxiety-related behaviours as determined by testing on the light-dark box and elevated plus maze. We found that the provision of running-wheels through the duration of abstinence attenuated depressive behaviour in the forced-swim and novelty-suppressed feeding tests, and increased saccharin consumption. Given the link between withdrawal from addictive substances and depression, this model will be useful for the study of the pathophysiology underlying alcohol-related depression. The findings of this study establish an interaction between physical activity and the development of behavioural changes following cessation of alcohol consumption that could have implications for the development of rehabilitative therapies.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 03/2013; 37(11). DOI:10.1111/ejn.12195 · 3.67 Impact Factor
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