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Exercise could help reduce moderate depression

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Exercise could help to reduce moderate symptoms of depression, according to a review published in The Cochrane Library.

The updated systematic review, which was conducted by UK researchers, analysed the Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Review Group's Controlled Trials Register (CCDANCTR), which includes randomised controlled trials from various databases.

Scientists analysed 35 trials involving 1,356 participants who were diagnosed with depression. The study then followed patients who underwent exercise as suggested by the American College of Sports Medicine.

The results of their investigation were compared with other patients who received different forms of treatment for depression, which included standard treatment, no treatment or placebo treatment, pharmacological treatment and psychological treatment.

They found that exercise showed moderate benefits regarding the alleviation of depressive symptoms, with exercise proving just as effective as psychological therapy or taking antidepressants.

However, the researchers stated that they do not currently know how much exercise would be beneficial to reduce symptoms, while also saying that their findings were based only on a small number of low-quality trials.

"Exercise is moderately more effective than a control intervention for reducing symptoms of depression, but analysis of methodologically robust trials only shows a smaller effect in favour of exercise,” said the authors of the study.

“When compared to psychological or pharmacological therapies, exercise appears to be no more effective, though this conclusion is based on a few small trials."

In conclusion, the researchers felt that studies of a better quality were required in order to gain more information about the possible wider of effects of exercise on the symptoms of depression. This could help to determine how much exercise is required to reduce symptoms, while also investigating how effective exercise could be when tests are more stringent and carried out on a larger scale.

A copy of the review can be found in The Cochrane Library here: http://lei.sr?a=L5c9G

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Exercise could help to reduce moderate symptoms of depression, according to a review published in The Cochrane Library.
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