By Amy Norton
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Exercise seems to increase the production of naturally occurring brain chemical with antidepressant effects in mice, researchers reported Sunday.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, point to potential new ways to treat depression in people.
Studies have found that exercise can help ease depression symptoms, but the reasons for the benefit have not been clear. For the new study, scientists used a tool called a microarray to examine how exercise changed gene activity in the brains of mice.
They focused on a brain region known as the hippocampus, which has been implicated in mood regulation and in the brain's response to antidepressant medication.
The researchers found that mice that had a week's worth of workouts on a running wheel showed altered activity in a total of 33 genes, the majority of which had never been identified before.
In particular, exercise enhanced activity in the gene for a nerve growth factor known as VGF. Nerve growth factors are small proteins important in the development and maintenance of nerve cells.
Moreover, when the researchers infused a synthetic version of VGF into the brains of the mice, it produced a "robust antidepressant effect" in standardized tests of animals placed in stressful situations.
"The major finding is that we have identified a key factor that underlies the antidepressant effects of exercise -- information that could be used for the development of novel therapeutic agents," said senior researcher Dr. Ronald S. Duman of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
Exercise "clearly has effects on the brain," he told Reuters Health, and they are both direct and indirect. It's possible, he explained, that the current findings reflect a direct effect of exercise on nerve cells in the hippocampus, or more general changes in the brain, like better blood flow or increased hormonal activity.
Besides offering more support for the benefits of exercise, the findings also point to VGF as a target for new antidepressants, according to Duman and his colleagues. Such medications, they point out, would work by an entirely different mechanism than existing antidepressants, which are effective for about 65 percent of patients.
IN THE WORKPLACE
New Research on Depression in the Workplace.
For more information please click here
To subscribe to SADAG's newsletter, click here
Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's
Click here for more info on articles & how to subscribe
Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted. We depend on written communication for information, guidance, and access to heath care information That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way information is delivered to low literacy communities. It's exactly what it sounds like.a book that talks to the reader in his or her local language, delivering critical information in an interactive, and educational way.
The customizable 16-page book, accompanied by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood..
We started with books on Teen Suicide prevention , HIV, AIDS and Depression, Understanding Mental Health and have developed over 30 titles, such as TB, Malaria, Polio, Vaccines for over 30 countries.
- Click here to see speaking books in action
- Click here for sample book on clinical trials
- Click here for latest press release 1.
- Click here for latest press release 2.
- Click here to connect to international site www.booksofhope.com
- Speaking books for Health Care YouTube
Exercise Helps Depression
By Amy Norton
Dr Reddy's Help Line
0800 21 22 23
Pharmadynamics Police &Trauma Line
0800 20 50 26
Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline
0800 70 80 90
Destiny Helpline for Youth & Students
0800 41 42 43
0800 55 44 33
Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline
0800 12 13 14
Suicide Crisis Line
0800 567 567
SADAG Mental Health Line
011 234 4837
Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour
0861 435 787
CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2018
Teen Suicide Prevention Week
11 - 18 February
Bipolar Awareness Day
Substance Abuse Awareness Day
Mental Health Awareness Month
1 – 31 July
Panic Awareness Day
World Suicide Prevention Day
World Mental Health Day
Want to become a volunteer counsellor? Contact Lara/Zoleka 0800 21 22 23
Download Application Form Here
If you are a journalist writing a story contact Cassey on
011 234 4837 /firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in starting a Support Group, please contact Lara on 0800 21 22 23.
To find a Support Group in your area, please phone SADAG on 0800 21 22 23.