Excercise to Fight Depression
Depression is the fourth most important cause of disability worldwide -- and is expected to become the second most important by 2020.
Statistics suggest that as many as 1 in 3 of us might experience depressive symptoms during our lifetime and women are twice as likely to be affected as men. Depression is a major problem and treating depression a major drain on medical resources.
Now, new studies in the southwest of England are looking into different approaches to the treatment of depression -- approaches that may have a significant impact on this debilitating illness.
Bringing together expertise in Psychiatry, Exercise Psychology, Health Economics and Primary Care, a collaboration of the University of Bristol, the University of Exeter and the Peninsula Medical School will conduct one of the largest studies in the world, into the use of exercise as a treatment for depression.
Meanwhile, a parallel study at the University of Bristol will examine patient DNA believing that this may hold the key to more accurate drug prescription -- matching patients to their medication according to their own genetic make-up.
In the UK alone, depression costs the Health Service some 80 million a year in antidepressant prescriptions. The benefits of exercise and more accurately targeted medication could make a considerable contribution to the treatment of depression throughout the world.