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Exercise helps tackle symptoms of schizophrenia

Aerobic exercise can improve brain function in people with schizophrenia, say University of Manchester researchers. 
Exercise and schizophrenia

Aerobic exercise can improve brain function in people with schizophrenia, say University of Manchester researchers who looked at data from ten clinical trials involving 385 patients with the condition.

They found that treating patients with aerobic exercise programmes, such as treadmills and exercise bikes, in combination with medication, improved overall brain functioning more than medication alone.

The acute phase of schizophrenia is typified by hallucinations and delusions, which are usually treatable with medication. But many patients are still troubled with pervasive cognitive deficits including poor memory, impaired information processing and loss of concentration.

Working memory

The researchers found that areas most improved by exercising were patients’ ability to understand social situations, their attention span and their ‘working memory’ – how much information they can hold in mind at one time.

There was also evidence among the studies that programmes which used

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