Exercise may benefit people suffering from depression, according to an updated systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. The authors of the review found evidence to suggest that exercise reduces symptoms of depression, although they say more high quality trials are needed. Worldwide, more than 120 million people suffer from depression. Antidepressants and psychological therapies are recommended as effective treatments for depression. However, antidepressants have side-effects and some people prefer not to receive, or may not have access to, psychological therapies. Physical exercise is also used as a treatment for depression. There are a number of reasons why it might work such as changing hormone levels that affect mood or providing a distraction from negative thoughts. The previous version of the Cochrane review found only limited evidence of benefit for exercise in depression. However, more trials have now been completed, leading researchers to carry out a further update. Altogether, they reviewed the results of 39 trials involving 2,326 people diagnosed with depression. The severity of patients' symptoms was assessed using standard scales of depression. In 35 trials comparing exercise with control treatments or no treatment, the researchers saw moderate benefits of exercise for treating depression. Exercise was as effective as psychological therapy or taking antidepressants, although these findings were based on only a few, small, low quality trials. "Our review suggested that exercise might have a moderate effect on depression," said one of the authors of the review, Gillian Mead of the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, UK. "We can't tell from currently available evidence which kinds of exercise regimes are most effective or whether the benefits continue after a patient stops their exercise programme." Conducting high quality trials involving exercise can be problematic. For example, it is difficult to conceal which patients have been allocated to treatment groups, and which have been allocated to control or no treatment groups. Therefore, the researchers carried out a separate analysis focussing on the high quality trials. In these six trials, the effect of exercise was weaker. "When we looked only at those trials that we considered to be high quality, the effect of exercise on depression was small and not statistically significant," said Mead. "The evidence base would be strengthened by further large-scale, high quality studies." Source: Eurekalert << Novel Meningitis Vaccine Proves to be a Blessing Inappropriate Use of Antibiotics Could Be Reduced By New St... >> Recommended Reading US Study Suggests Parents' Shouting Could Increase Kids' Risk Of Depression And Troubled Behavior A US study suggests that middle-class parents with a habit of shouting at their teenage children could be actually increasing their kids' risk of depression and troubled behaviour. READ MORE Wine Helps Beat Depression Blues Several glasses of wine each week may help protect your mental health, says study. READ MORE Study on Bullied Mice Showed That Shutting Off Neurons Alleviates Depression A new drug target to treat depression and other mood disorders may lie in a group of GABA neurons (gamma-aminobutyric acid -the neurotransmitters which inhibit other READ MORE Andropause / Male Menopause Andropause or male menopause causing low libido in a man is due to decreasing level of male hormones, like testosterone. Symptoms of andropause are depression, irritability. READ MORE Bereavement Bereavement is a word used to denote grief, pain and sadness following the loss of a loved one. READ MORE Depression Depression is one of the most common mental disorders affecting approximately 340 million people in the world. No one is immune from depression - it occurs in people of all social classes, all countries and all cultural settings. READ MORE Exercise and Fitness Exercise is about revamping your lifestyle, not just weight loss. Exercise to get healthy – that way, you’ll last longer at it and get better results. READ MORE Lifestyle Modification: No Big Deal! Simple and practically possible lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in improving our health status without actually putting much effort. READ MORE Pregnancy and Complications In-depth guide for expecting mothers to overcome health complications related to early or late pregnancy. Anemia, urinary infection, diabetes, premature labor to name a few. READ MORE Tips to Live Longer Though life is temporary and short, it is possible to maximize the span of our existence by living healthy and savoring every moment of life, read our tips to live longer READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Post-Nasal Drip Find a Doctor How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips More News on: Adolescence DepressionDepressionDiet Lifestyle and Heart DiseaseStress Relief Through Alternative MedicineAndropause / Male MenopauseTips to Live LongerPregnancy and ComplicationsBereavementExercise and FitnessLifestyle Modification: No Big Deal!