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CORTISOL AND SEROTONIN LEVELS IN SCHIZOPHRENIC INPATIENTS UNDERGOING AEROBIC TRAINING

NÍVEIS DE CORTISOL E SEROTONINA EM PACIENTES ESQUIZOFRÊNICOS SUBMETIDOS A TREINAMENTO AERÓBICO

NIVELES DE CORTISOL Y SEROTONINA EN PACIENTES ESQUIZOFRÉNICOS SOMETIDOS A ENTRENAMIENTO AERÓBICO

ABSTRACT

Introduction

Individuals with schizophrenia tend to have high levels of cortisol and changes in the serotonergic mechanism. However, the effects of aerobic exercises on cortisol and serotonin levels in schizophrenic inpatients are not well established.

Objective

To evaluate the effects of an aerobic training program on serotonin and cortisol levels in schizophrenic inpatients.

Methods

Thirty schizophrenic subjects were randomly assigned to an exercise group (EG; n = 15; age: 29 ± 9.08 years; BMI: 23.57 ± 4.33 kg/m2) or a control group (CG; n = 15; age: 33.17 ± 12.8 years; BMI: 22.89 ± 5.68 kg/m2). EG performed an aerobic training program in a cycle ergometer (57% to 67% of the maximum heart rate) for 30 minutes, five days a week, with a total of twenty sessions. The analysis of cortisol (Chemiluminescence Method) and serotonin (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) was performed before and after testing in both groups. The level of significance was of p<0.05.

Results

After the exercise sessions, EG showed a significant reduction in cortisol levels (Δ = -5.68 mcg/dl%, p < 0.0001) and a significant increase in serotonin levels (Δ = 47.63 ng/ml, p = 0.015) compared to CG.

Conclusion

The aerobic training program was effective in reducing cortisol levels and increasing serotonin levels in schizophrenic inpatients. Level of evidence I; Randomized clinical trial.

Aerobic exercise; Hormone; Schizophrenia; Cardiorespiratory fitness; Exercise therapy

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