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The Effects of Exercise on Depression Symptoms Using Levels of Neurotransmitters and EEG as Markers

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02023281
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 30, 2013
Last Update Posted : December 30, 2013
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
Centura Health
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Timothy H. Barclay, Liberty University

Brief Summary:

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of exercise on the symptoms of depression using serum levels of serotonin, catecholamine's, Alpha EEG asymmetry, and self-report of symptoms as markers.

In an attempt to further understand the mechanisms of improved mood through exercise; this study will examine the known factors that contribute to depressed mood in a single study using serotonin and catecholamine levels via blood serum and EEG slow wave asymmetry. Such information can be useful in understanding the overall neurological components of depression and the effects of exercise on the brain in depressed individuals that would make the prescription of exercise a viable treatment option.


Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Depression Behavioral: Exercise Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

There is an increasing demand for clinical effective, safe, and cost conscious forms of treatment for depression. Research shows depression to account for the largest decrease in overall health compared to asthma, angina, arthritis, and diabetes (Maussavi, 2007). The cost of lost productivity at work due to depression is a new focus of research as no current and accurate numbers exist. Stewart, Ricci, Hahn, & Morganstein (2013) were among the first to examine this issue and found that lost productivity due to depression cost an estimated $44 billion dollars per year in spite of current medical treatments commonly prescribed. The lost productivity among those with depression and the low level of treatment suggest that there may be cost effective opportunities for improving depression outcomes within the general workforce and society at large.

The question of value regarding the use of exercise as a treatment for depression has remained a source of investigation in recent years. In cooperation with Centra Health and Liberty University, this study seeks to understand the mechanisms that make exercise a viable treatment in depression by examining self-report of symptoms, serum levels of serotonin and catecholamines (epinephrine, norepinephrin, and dopamine) and frontal slow wave EEG activity as markers. Although these markers have been examined individually in previous studies, this is the only known study that examines each of these components in a single study. Such information can be useful in understanding the overall neurological components of depression and the effects of exercise on the brain in depressed individuals that would make the prescription of exercise a viable treatment in depression.

Multiple trials, meta-analyses, and reviews have been conducted in the attempt to clarify the use of exercise in depressed patients. Research has shown that exercise as a treatment may result in fewer relapses than sertraline (Strohle, 2009). Similar results are indicated when exercise is prescribed as an adjunct treatment with psychotherapy (Balon, Sidhu, & Pankhuree, 2009; Blumenthal, Smith, & Hoffman, 2012; Gill, Womack, & Safranek, 2010). Preliminary characteristics of the ideal dosage of exercise as a treatment have been researched, although a definitive dose-response curve has yet to be produced (Callaghan, Khalil, Morres, & Carter, 2011; Perraton, Kumar, & Machotka, 2010).

Electroencephalographic (EEG) scans have been shown to demonstrate a left frontal bias in alpha (8-12 Hz) and theta (4-7 Hz) wave activity (Allen, Urry, Hitt, & Coan, 2004; Demos, 2005; Iosifescu et al., 2008; Nissen et al., 2006). The up-training or down-training of individual bandwidths in the treatment of depression, anxiety, ADHD, and traumatic brain injury have long been established (La Vaque, 2002). Although there are no established norms for neurotransmitter levels, we know through clinical medication trials that the inhibition of the reuptake of serotonin and or norepinephrine improve mood. Previous studies examining low levels of serotonin and decreased mood have found a correlation between exercise and increased serotonin availability without the use of pharmaceuticals (Chaouloff et al., 1985; Ernst, Olsen, Pinel, Lam, & Christie, 2006; Jacobs & Fornal, 1999). More routine type studies often use neurotransmitter levels as markers (Lande, Williams, Fileta, 2012; Lidberg, Tuck, Asberg, Scalia-Tomba, & Bertilsson, 1985; Mann & Stanley, 1984).


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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 11 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Effects of Exercise on Depression Symptoms Using Levels of Neurotransmitters and EEG as Markers
Study Start Date : March 2013
Actual Primary Completion Date : May 2013
Actual Study Completion Date : May 2013

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine


Arm Intervention/treatment
No Intervention: Control Group
Control group will serve as a wait list and not be exposed to the intervention.
Experimental: Experimental Group
The experimental group will engage in a mild-moderate level of structured and clinically supervised exercise program for approx. 30-45 mins 2-3 days per week for 12 weeks
Behavioral: Exercise
The experimental group will engage in mild-moderate level of exercise. This program will be structured and clinically supervised. Exercise will take place 2-3 days per week for a duration of 30-45 mins. for 12 weeks.




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Scores on the Beck Depression Inventory-II [ Time Frame: Pre and post intervention over the 3 month span of the study ]
    The BDI-II is a 21 item self-report screening tool that measures symptoms of depression.


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Serum levels of serotonin and catecholomine [ Time Frame: Pre and post intervention over the 3 month span of the study ]
    Blood collection pre and post intervention for the processing of serum for serotonin and catecholomine.


Other Outcome Measures:
  1. Mean EEG alpha frequency data in the pre-frontal cortex. [ Time Frame: Pre and post intervention over the 3 month span of the study. ]
    Participants will have an EEG measuring pre-frontal cortex mean alpha frequency.



Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • primary diagnosis of depression
  • 18-65 years of age
  • Physically fit to engage in physical exercise

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Participants with a history or current symptoms of psychosis
  • anticipation of psychiatric medication changes over the course of the study
  • Bipolar disorder or other disorder reflecting reality testing impairment.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02023281


Locations
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United States, Virginia
Liberty University
Lynchburg, Virginia, United States, 24502
Centra Health; Health Works
Lynchburg, Virginia, United States, 24503
Sponsors and Collaborators
Liberty University
Centura Health
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Timothy H Barclay, Ph.D. Liberty University

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Responsible Party: Timothy H. Barclay, Assistant Professor; Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Liberty University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02023281     History of Changes
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT01787201
Other Study ID Numbers: LU4261 from WyndhurstCC
First Posted: December 30, 2013    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: December 30, 2013
Last Verified: December 2013

Keywords provided by Timothy H. Barclay, Liberty University:
Depression
Exercise
Neurotransmitters
Catecholimines
EEG

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Depression
Depressive Disorder
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Physiological Effects of Drugs