Abstract Title:

Associations between exercise, inflammation and symptom severity in those with mental health disorders.

Abstract Source:

Cytokine. 2021 Jul 25 ;146:155648. Epub 2021 Jul 25. PMID: 34320459

Abstract Author(s):

Tegan E Hartmann, Caroline V Robertson, Timothy D Miller, Jayden R Hunter, Melissa Skein

Article Affiliation:

Tegan E Hartmann


AIM: This study aimed to investigate the effects of 6-weeks of moderate intensity aerobic exercise on markers of inflammation and symptom severity in those undergoing management of a mental health disorder.

METHOD: Twenty six participants were allocated into two groups, those reporting as apparently healthy (AH, n = 13) or those undergoing the management of a mental health disorder (MI, n = 13). Following a baseline testing and familiarization session, participants commenced the 6-week aerobic training intervention, involving stationary cycling at 65% heart rate reserve for 35 min progressing to 70% for40 min. Measures of aerobic fitness (VO), anthropometric variables, symptom questionnaires and venous blood were collect pre- and post-intervention. Venous blood was assessed for nod-like receptor pyrin containing-3, interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), IL-1β, C-reactive protein (CRP) and brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF).

RESULTS: There were no baseline differences between groups, however following the intervention the AH demonstrated lower TNF-α (p = 0.049) than the MI group. Within change was observed for the MI group with an increase in VO(p = 0.049) and declines in symptom severity (p = 0.00-0.005). Significant correlations between variables indicated a positive association between body fat, body fat percentage, CRP and symptom severity (p = 0.01-0.04). Conversely, symptom severity and CRP were inversely associated with VOvalues (p = 0.02-0.04).

CONCLUSION: Six-weeks of moderate intensity aerobic exercise increases VOand reduces symptom severity in those currently undergoing management of a mental health disorder. Further, there may be a physiological link between aerobic capacity, symptom severity, inflammation and adiposity, however greater exploration is required.

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