Exercise treatment for major depression: maintenance of therapeutic benefit at 10 months
Babyak M, Blumenthal JA, Herman S, Khatri P,
Doraiswamy M, Moore K, Craighead WE,
Baldewicz TT, Krishnan KR
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,
Duke University Medical Center,
Durham, NC 27710, USA.
Psychosom Med 2000 Sep-Oct; 62(5):633-8


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the status of 156 adult volunteers with major depressive disorder (MDD) 6 months after completion of a study in which they were randomly assigned to a 4-month course of aerobic exercise, sertraline therapy, or a combination of exercise and sertraline. METHODS: The presence and severity of depression were assessed by clinical interview using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) and by self-report using the Beck Depression Inventory. Assessments were performed at baseline, after 4 months of treatment, and 6 months after treatment was concluded (ie, after 10 months). RESULTS: After 4 months patients in all three groups exhibited significant improvement; the proportion of remitted participants (ie, those who no longer met diagnostic criteria for MDD and had an HRSD score <8) was comparable across the three treatment conditions. After 10 months, however, remitted subjects in the exercise group had significantly lower relapse rates (p = .01) than subjects in the medication group. Exercising on one's own during the follow-up period was associated with a reduced probability of depression diagnosis at the end of that period (odds ratio = 0.49, p = .0009). CONCLUSIONS: Among individuals with MDD, exercise therapy is feasible and is associated with significant therapeutic benefit, especially if exercise is continued over time.
Exercise pills?
Low-fat blues
Vitamins and mood
Nutritional psychiatry
Docosahexaenoic acid
Catecholamine depletion
Mood, food and cognition
Bad moods and sick hearts
Exercise as an antidepressant
Phenylethylamine and exercise
Exercise programs treat depression
NO, BDNF, exercise and antidepressants
Runners' high: exercise and endogenous opioid release
The exercise-regulated gene VGF: antidepressant action
Major depression: exercise as an augmentation strategy
Antianxiety effects of exercise/hippocampal neurogenesis

and further reading

Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

The Good Drug Guide
The Good Drug Guide

The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family