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Exercise Helps Kids With Depression

Studies have shown that exercise may battle depression in adults, and now new evidence suggests the same may be true for children. In a study of nearly 4,600 middle-schoolers, researchers found that the more active children were, the less likely they were to suffer symptoms of depression. Exercise seems to affect some key nervous system chemicals--norepinephrine and serotonin--that are targets of antidepressant drugs, as well as brain neurotrophins, which help protect nerve cells from injury and transmit nerve signals in brain regions related to mood. This type of low-risk, and beneficial, "treatment" is perfect to try for anyone. Some studies have even found that exercise works better than drugs for depression.

Psychosomatic Medicine May/June 2004;66(3):336-42

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