Dr. Gary Small, M.D.

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Gary Small, M.D., is Chair of Psychiatry at Hackensack University Medical Center, and Physician in Chief for Behavioral Health Services at Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest, most comprehensive and integrated healthcare network. Dr. Small has often appeared on the TODAY show, Good Morning America, and CNN and is co-author (with his wife Gigi Vorgan) of 10 popular books, including New York Times bestseller, “The Memory Bible,” “The Small Guide to Anxiety,” and “The Small Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Tags: exercise | depression | serotonin
OPINION

Exercise Helps Boost Mood

Dr. Small By Wednesday, 04 March 2020 04:39 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

When people get depressed, they often fall into a state of distraction, which impairs memory. In addition to the immediate cognitive benefits of physical exercise, remaining active lifts a person’s mood and helps fight depression.

In research conducted at Duke University, depressed patients were given the antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that has been shown to be effective in treating major depression.

But after four months of treatment, the investigators discovered regular exercise was just as effective as the medication for treating symptoms of depression.

Volunteers who exercised 40 minutes three to five days each week enjoyed the greatest improvements in mood.

As noted, when a person exercises, his or her body produces mood-lifting endorphins. Exercise also releases the neurotransmitter serotonin, which has been found to be at low levels in the brains of depressed patients.

This is the same brain messenger that gets elevated by SSRI antidepressants, such as Zoloft and Prozac (fluoxetine).

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Dr-Small
In addition to the immediate cognitive benefits of physical exercise, remaining active lifts a person’s mood and helps fight depression.
exercise, depression, serotonin
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2020-39-04
Wednesday, 04 March 2020 04:39 PM
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