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Hormonal Function Responses to Moderate Aerobic Exercise in Older Adults with Depression

Authors Alghadir AH, Gabr SA

Received 22 April 2020

Accepted for publication 14 July 2020

Published 3 August 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1271—1283


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Ahmad H Alghadir ,1 Sami A Gabr 1

Rehabilitation Research Chair (RRC), College of Applied Medical Sciences (CAMS), King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Sami A Gabr
Rehabilitation Research Chair (RRC), College of Applied Medical Sciences (CAMS), King Saud University, P.O. Box 10219, Riyadh 11433, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel +966 562060018
Fax +966 14698541

Background: Poor daily life physical activities among older people were related to depressive mood especially memory loss. In addition to that, the change in physical ability is significantly associated with the score of depression among older age.
Objective: The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of a supervised aerobic training program with moderate intensity for 12 weeks on mood profiles and hormonal levels of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) of older adults.
Methods: A total of 80 individuals of both gender (90 males, 110 females) of ages ranged between 65 and 95 years were recruited for this study. Based upon the profile of mood states (POMS) analysis, the participants were classified into two groups: control group (n=30) and depressive group (n=50). Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), adrenal hormones such as ACTH, corticosterone (CORT), cortisol, DHEA/S, and cortisol:DHEA/S ratio were measured at baseline and post-intervention of moderate aerobic exercise for 12 weeks.
Results: Older adults with higher depressive scores showed a remarkable change in the level of adrenal hormones compared to control. There was a significant increase in the level of ACTH, CORT, cortisol, and cortisol:DHEA/S ratio, and decrease in DHEA/S. Compared to females, males showed an improvement in depressive mood score along with an increase in LPTA, DHEA/S and decrease in ACTH, CORT, cortisol, cortisol:DHEA/S ratio following 12 weeks of supervised aerobic training, respectively.
Conclusion: The findings of this study showed that 12 weeks of supervised exercise interventions are promising non-drug therapeutic strategies in improving depression among older adults. The potential performance in a psychological state occurs physiologically via optimizing the levels of the hormones of the HPA axis.

Keywords: adrenal function, depression, LPTA, aerobic exercise, POMS

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