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Fit to Fight Depression - Transcript


00:00            Wide – crowds on street
                      Medium wide – crowds on street
                      Wide – Professor Campbell enters Peninsula Medical School
                      c.u. Peninsula Medical School sign
                      Wide – gymnasium. Walker on treadmill in foreground
                      c.u. feet on treadmill
                      Wide – Dr Taylor enters shot
                      c.u. Dr Taylor talking to walker
                      Wide – Dr Taylor walks away
                      c.u. Walker’s face  

Guide Voice: Depression – a debilitating illness that could strike anyone and it’s on the increase. It’s currently the fourth most important cause of disability worldwide – and expected to become the second most important by 2020.

Now, new studies in the South West of England are researching different approaches to the treatment of depression – approaches that may have a significant impact on this debilitating illness.

Combining expertise in Psychiatry, Exercise Psychology, Health Economics and Primary Care, collaboration between the Universities of Bristol and Exeter, along with the Peninsula Medical School, will conduct one of the largest ever studies into the use of exercise as a treatment for depression.

00:41 SOT:  Dr. Adrian Taylor, Reader in Exercise and Health Psychology, School of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter -  “Exercise has a number of different benefits not just, potentially, effects on mental health. It has…obviously, we know that it helps people keep weight off, it might help strengthen bone and muscular skeletal dimensions of health - so if we have a drug that's just designed to treat depression it doesn't also add positive benefits to weight gain and muscular skeletal health, so it makes sense to have an intervention that involves a number of different health benefits. But really, we're particularly interested here in 'does exercise help people reduce depression?' - with some other symptoms associated with depression, such as anxiety and low self esteem.”

01:26            Rear shot, walker on treadmill
                      c.u. treadmill display
                      c.u. walking legs
                      Wide – 2 women walking in park

Guide Voice: The researchers are keen to stress that they’re not talking about extreme fitness classes or turning patients into competitive athletes; as little as 30 minutes of brisk walking a day might have an effect – and it doesn’t have to be done in the gym. Walking in the local park with a friend at lunchtime could have equally beneficial effects.

01:43 SOT: John Campbell, Professor of General Practice and Primary Care, Peninsula Medical School -We're looking at increasing the general approach to exercise but on a fairly moderate level, for folk who have depression, over a period of time. We're not looking to make people into athletes we just want to improve the amount of exercise and activity that they're undertaking on a day to day basis and we think that...there is good evidence that is likely to have potential beneficial effects in this group of patients.”

02:07            Swimmer in pool
                      Wide – swimmers in pool
                      c.u. swimmer

Guide Voice: More than 750 patients will be recruited to take part in the groundbreaking trial to investigate whether exercise can help in the treatment of depression, alone or in conjunction with medication. Reviews of the current evidence suggest exercise may be an effective treatment, but rigorous studies have yet to be carried out.

02:25 SOT: Dr. Taylor – “Certainly where people have been prescribed medication there is an increasing view amongst patients that they'd prefer to have an option, a treatment option, that involved some sense of control some degree of self management that they felt they were doing something for their own benefit rather than just taking medication which may have some side effects. So there is a real advantage and there is a growing interest in alternative therapies like exercise, aerobic type exercise to actually help people's physical self.”

03:02 SOT: Glyn Lewis, Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology, University of Bristol“I think people are increasingly recognising that depression is very common and very disabling and it’s important that we work out the best ways of treating depression. There’s also a lot of reluctance, I think, for people to take anti-depressant drugs and they want to have alternatives to anti depressants. So our strategy is really to work out who are the people who really do need the drugs and will benefit from drugs and also to look at alternatives for those people who don’t want to take tablets or might benefit from alternative approaches.” 

03:39            Wide – General Practitioner and patient
                      c.u. – syringe taking blood
                      c.u. – GP

Guide Voice: Where drugs are considered to be the answer, The University of Bristol are also conducting research in order to establish whether or not, in the case of anti depressants there are genetic predictors to indicate which patients would benefit from which drugs. By sampling patient DNA they hope to more accurately match the treatment to the individual.

03:59 SOT: Prof. Lewis – “There’s now a lot of interest in whether we can use the much improved data on people’s genetic make up that’s come from the human genome project to see whether we can target drugs more accurately. At the moment the trial data suggests that we can only say something about groups of people but we know that some people get better on tablets and others don’t. Some people might get bad side effects from tablets and others don’t and it’s very likely that people’s genetic make-up affects that kind of response to drugs.”

04:33            Technicians in laboratory handling DNA samples
                      c.u. samples in machine
                      Extreme c.u. tissue sampling
                      Wide – swimming pool

Guide Voice: In the UK alone, depression costs the Health Service some £80 million a year in antidepressant prescriptions – a situation echoed in primary care around the world. More efficient targeting of the drugs we use, as well as thorough investigation of alternative approaches to treatment must be a priority for the future.

04:53            End of cut

This material is available for use without restriction for up to 28 days after the feed date, Thursday 28 July 2005. For use beyond this period, please contact Research-TV on + 44 (0) 20 7004 7130.

Page contact: Shuehyen Wong Last revised: Thu 28 Jul 2005
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