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Fewer Depression in Boys Who Practice Sports

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  • Fewer Depression in Boys Who Practice Sports

    From , March 24 , 2019

    New US research has found that boys who play team sports appear to have larger hippocampal volumes in the brain and fewer symptoms of depression.

    Carried out by researchers at Washington University .., along with the University of California and the University of Vermont, the new study looked at 4,191 children age nine to 11 across the US...
    The findings.. showed that playing sport was associated with a larger hippocampal volume in both girls and boys, and also fewer symptoms of depression in boys.
    The associations were even stronger for children participating in sports that were more structured, such as team sports or regular lessons.
    “We found that involvement in sports, but not non-sport activities such as music or art, is related to greater hippocampal volume in both boys and girls, and is related to reduced depression in boys,”
    The researchers suggested that the different effect of sports on depression among girls could mean that different factors contribute to depression in girls, or that a stronger association between sports and depression might emerge at a later developmental period for girls.

    Previous research has already found that depression in adults is associated with shrinkage of the hippocampus, a region of the brain important in memory and response to stress, with some studies suggesting that exercise can also have a positive effect on depression and hippocampal volume in adults...]

  • #2
    It is very plausible that doing sports can help against depression. Doing something you like will release endorphin. Which will help against depression. Maybe that is why more boys benefits from sports compared to girls. I am making the conclusion that more boys like doing sports compared to girls.
    I think the opposite is also true. When having to do something you dislike (a lot), it will help to develop a depression. So for boys and girls who dislike sports, but are forced into doing, will probably will have more depression symptoms.

    Why teamsport helps more than other sports might be because most humans like to belong to a group, having moral support when the going gets tough will all help to like the thing you do. Which will help against depression more.

    Depression also inhibits brain development. It will impact the hypothalamus, hippocampus, Amygdala and Limbic cortex. Also your cognition will also be impaired.

    This is a correlation study. I can't find in the article if the children who participated in the study all already doing sports or that all didn't do any sports before participating the study. With correlation studies, you can't say variable A (sports) will have an impact on variable B (depression) even though they are related. You can't say doing more sport will reduce depression more.

    I would like to see an experiment study with 3 children groups. 1 group (A) as the base group, doing what they normally do, without any change in their life. 1 control group (B) with children who like to sport and 1 control group (C) with children who dislike sport. Both control groups will sport as planned in the research. At the beginning of the research all children will undergo a brain scan. Every 3 months the children get a brain scan to see how their brain develops.

    My hypothesis is that both control groups will have different brain development. Control group B will have better resistance against depression, Control group C will have more depressive symptoms . How much positive or negative gain in resistance against depression can be read comparing the results from the base group A.