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Exercise leads to better clinical outcomes in those receiving medication plus cognitive behavioral therapy for major depressive disorder

Gourgouvelis, Joanne, Yielder, Paul, Clarke, Sandra T., Behbahani, Hushyar and Murphy, Bernadette A. 2018, Exercise leads to better clinical outcomes in those receiving medication plus cognitive behavioral therapy for major depressive disorder, Frontiers in psychiatry, vol. 9, pp. 1-12, doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00037.

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Title Exercise leads to better clinical outcomes in those receiving medication plus cognitive behavioral therapy for major depressive disorder
Author(s) Gourgouvelis, Joanne
Yielder, Paul
Clarke, Sandra T.
Behbahani, Hushyar
Murphy, Bernadette A.
Journal name Frontiers in psychiatry
Volume number 9
Article ID 37
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher Frontiers Media
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publication date 2018-03
ISSN 1664-0640
Keyword(s) major depressive disorder
exercise
brain-derived neurotrophic factor
sleep quality
cognition
Summary Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of exercise as an add-on therapy with antidepressant medication and cognitive behavioral group therapy (CBGT) on treatment outcomes in low-active major depressive disorder (MDD) patients. We also explored whether exercise reduces the residual symptoms of depression, notably cognitive impairment and poor sleep quality, and aimed to identify putative biochemical markers related to treatment response.

Methods:
Sixteen low-active MDD patients were recruited from a mental health day treatment program at a local hospital. Eight medicated patients performed an 8-week exercise intervention in addition to CBGT, and eight medicated patients attended the CBGT only. Twenty-two low-active, healthy participants with no history of mental health illness were also recruited to provide normal healthy values for comparison.

Results:
Results showed that exercise resulted in greater reduction in depression symptoms (p = 0.007, d = 2.06), with 75% of the patients showing either a therapeutic response or a complete remission of symptoms vs. 25% of those who did not exercise. In addition, exercise was associated with greater improvements in sleep quality (p = 0.046, d = 1.28) and cognitive function (p = 0.046, d = 1.08). The exercise group also had a significant increase in plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), p = 0.003, d = 6.46, that was associated with improvements in depression scores (p = 0.002, R2 = 0.50) and sleep quality (p = 0.011, R2 = 0.38).

Conclusion: We provide evidence that exercise as an add-on to conventional antidepressant therapies improved the efficacy of standard treatment interventions. Our results suggest that plasma BDNF levels and sleep quality appear to be good indicators of treatment response and potential biomarkers associated with the clinical recovery of MDD.
Language eng
DOI 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00037
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2018, Gourgouvelis, Yielder, Clarke, Behbahani and Murphy
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30109117

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Medicine
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.