How To Naturally Boost The Brain Chemicals Sapped By Depression

Posted on March 5, 2016

Photo: flickr

Intense exercise increases the levels of two common neurotransmitters that are linked to depression. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate are both involved in depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

Professor Richard Maddock, the study’s first author, said: “Major depressive disorder is often characterized by depleted glutamate and GABA, which return to normal when mental health is restored. Our study shows that exercise activates the metabolic pathway that replenishes these neurotransmitters.”

The research involved 38 people who exercised on a stationary bicycle for a period. Their neurotransmitter levels were compared with a control group who did not exercise. Both glutamate and GABA levels increased in those who exercised compared with those who did not.

"We are offering another view on why regular physical activity may be important to prevent or treat depression. Not every depressed person who exercises will improve, but many will. It’s possible that we can help identify the patients who would most benefit from an exercise prescription.”said Prof Maddock.


Source material from The Journal of Neuroscience

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