Effects of physical exercise on serum levels of serotonin and its metabolite in fibromyalgia: a randomized pilot study

To evaluate the effects of aerobic training and stretching on serum levels of serotonin (5HT) and its main metabolite 5-hydroxindolacetic acid (5HIAA). Twenty-two women with FM were randomized into one of two exercise modalities (aerobic walking exercise or stretching exercise) to be accomplished three times a week for 20 weeks. The serum levels of 5HT and 5HIAA were evaluated before and after the exercise program by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with colorimetric detection. Within group analysis (pre-post) showed that serum levels of both 5HT and 5HIAA changed signifi cantly in the aerobic group during the 20-week course of therapy (5HT: P = 0,03; 5HIAA: P = 0,003). In the stretching group, however, no statistically signifi cant change was observed (5HT: P=0,491; 5HIAA: P=0,549). Between group statistical comparisons of laboratory measures disclosed that aerobic training was superior to stretching in that it signifi - cantly increased the levels of 5HIAA (F test = 6.61; P = 0.01), but the average difference between groups on the levels of 5HT did not meet signifi cance criteria (F test = 3.42; P = 0.08). Aerobic training increases the 5HIAA and 5HT levels and it could explain why aerobic exercise can improve symptoms in fi bromyalgia syndrome patient more than stretching exercise

Fibromyalgia; Exercise; Serotonin; 5HIAA; 5HT

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