New study finds that aerobic exercise like running can help improve the symptoms of schizophrenia

running and brain health

A new study has found that aerobic exercise can improve the severity of symptoms in individuals with schizophrenia who are being treated with antipsychotics. Antipsychotic treatment can improve the symptoms of schizophrenia; however, the side effects of treatment are frequent and often unpleasant.  

The severities of schizophrenic symptoms were measured using the Chinese version of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), this system measures the two types of symptoms in schizophrenia: positive symptoms, which refer to an excess or distortion of normal functions (e.g., hallucinations and delusions), and negative symptoms, which represent a diminution or loss of normal functions.

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Patients were measured at the start of the study, immediately after a 12 week period of intervention and then for a subsequent three month period. The results indicated that the severities of positive symptoms and general psychopathology in the aerobic exercise group significantly decreased during the 12 weeks of intervention but did not further significantly change during the 3-month follow-up period, while the severities of negative symptoms in the exercise group decreased significantly after 12 weeks of intervention and continued decreasing during the 3-month follow-up period. 

The Mind website has more on information on the symptoms and treatment of schizophrenia.