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

Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.

Ranked as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation’s top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation works with the Seattle Children’s Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care and research. Join Seattle Children’s bold initiative – It Starts With Yes: The Campaign for Seattle Children’s – to transform children’s health for generations to come.

For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or on our On the Pulse blog.