Exercise as supplementary treatment option in depressed patients – an overview

Journal: Die Psychiatrie - Grundlagen und Perspektiven
ISSN: 1614-4864


Issue: 2017 (Vol. 14): Issue 3 2017
Pages: 171-174

Exercise as supplementary treatment option in depressed patients – an overview

V. Oertel-Knöchel (1), F. Hänsel (2)

(1) Laboratory for Neuroimaging, Dept. of Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Goethe Univ., Frankfurt/Main, Germany; (2) Technische Universität Darmstadt, Abteilung Sportpsychologie, Fachbereich Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften, Darmstadt, Germany


Depression, Exercise, treatment, sports


Physical training have suggested to improve cognitive functioning, psychopathology and neurobiological alterations in psychiatric patients. The underlying causes of beneficial effects of physical exercise have been investigated through animal models and in healthy humans and have been linked to neurogenesis, neuronal plasticity, synaptogenesis and neurotransmission. However, only very few studies have investigated the causes of positive effects of physical exercise on depression. The hypothesis is that there are underlying psychological and neurobiological variables that are responsible for the beneficial effects. However, this was not yet systematically investigated in depressed patients. With the current study, we attempt to implement an evaluated exercise program fitted to the patient group.

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