Can running cure depression? Seattle Children’s brain research finds exercise can help patients

Can running cure depression? Seattle Children’s brain research finds exercise can help patients

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.

About Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention and bioethics, among others. As part of Seattle Children’s Hospital, the research institute brings together leading minds in pediatric research to provide patients with the best care possible. Seattle Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, which consistently ranks as one of the best pediatric departments in the country. For more information, visit