Can running cure depression? Seattle Children’s brain research finds exercise can help patients
August 26, 2014
Source - Puget Sound Business Journal
Researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute have pinpointed a tiny area of the brain that controls our motivation to get off the couch and exercise, offering a potential breakthrough that could help doctors better treat depression in patients. Dr. Eric Turner, a researcher at Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Integrative Brain Research, along with Dr. Yun-Wei (Toni) Hsu, learned that a tiny region of the brain controls the motivation to exercise and participate in other rewarding activities in mice. Exercise is one of the most effective non-medical treatments for depression, so discovering which part of the brain may be responsible for motivating people to exercise could help researchers develop more targeted treatments. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses and major depression affects about 15 million Americans, about 5 to 8 percent of the adult population.