Exercise Vs medication: Which one is a better option for elderly patients with depression?

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Exercise has many benefits. Regular exercise brings a lot of benefits to our bodies. It can have an impact on our minds as well. In this post, we will learn about the beneficial effect of exercise as a treatment option for depressions in old ages. It is nothing but a study result. I found it while I was reading an article on Medscape. In This study, the researchers have tried to find out which one is best for adults with depressions; exercise or drugs.

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All of the study participants were 65 years or above with a confirmed diagnosis of depression by the physician. One group was given anti-depressant drugs while others were enrolled on a supervised exercise program. The outcome of both of the groups was assessed at 1st, 3rd and 6th months.

The symptoms of depression were improved in both groups. The results are as follow:

Outcome afterDrug group (improvement in)Exercise group (improvement in)
1 month54.2%48.1%
3 months6O.6%45.6%
6 months49.7%32.9%

It is seen that after the first month, the improvements are almost similar to both groups. Over time, the improvement percentage is reduced in the exercise group. But there were some improvements. The most important reason for the decline in the exercise group was "not participating in the exercise program".

It is easy to eat a tablet per day than doing one-hour long exercise two times per week.

However, the study shows that regular exercise can improve the symptoms of depression.


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