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Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Dec;26 Suppl 1:119-23. Epub 2005 Oct 11.

Exercise training and depression in older adults.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3119, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


This article provides a review of the evidence supporting exercise as an effective treatment of depression in older adults. Depression is prevalent among older adults and is associated with significant morbidity, increased risk of mortality, and economic burden. Although effective treatments for depression exist (e.g., antidepressant medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy), the disorder remains inadequately treated for many older individuals. Recently, the use of exercise as a treatment for depression has received increased attention. Results of these studies suggest that exercise leads to a reduction in depressive symptoms when compared to wait list, social contact controls, and antidepressant medication. However, many studies have significant methodological limitations. In the present article, we include discussion of these limitations and provide suggestions for future research.

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