Medicating for mental health—Intense exercise before taking a daily dose could prevent weight gain, diseases

March 21, 2018, University of Guelph
Medicating for mental health
Professor David Wright, Department of Human Health & Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph. Credit: University of Guelph

Weight gain and Type 2 diabetes are potential side effects in people taking a common medication to treat mental illness.

Now a new University of Guelph study has revealed that a single bout of intense exercise performed right before taking a dose of could be a way to prevent these side effects.

Published in the journal Scientific Reports, the study investigated how a single bout of intense exercise could reduce olanzapine-induced hyperglycemia in male mice. Olanzapine is an anti-psychotic medication that is used in the treatment of schizophrenia and causes levels to rise with each dose taken.

"Acute repeated spikes in blood sugar that you see with each dose of this drug have long-term impacts - and can predispose patients to the development of insulin-resistance Type 2 diabetes and ," said David Wright, associate professor in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences and corresponding author of the paper.

Patients generally take such drugs as olanzapine over a long period, meaning that they may have serious impacts on patients' overall health, added Wright.

"If you look at the average of an individual with schizophrenia versus someone in the general population, it's a 20-year gap. If we can reduce the side effects associated with , hopefully we can improve life expectancy and the overall quality of life."

In their study, Wright and PhD student Laura Castellani exercised mice by having them run until they reached exhaustion before giving them a dose of olanzapine. The researchers discovered the exercise prevented the rise in blood glucose levels that typically occurs when taking the medication.

However, the researchers found it must be . When they repeated the tests with only similar to a fast jog, blood glucose levels still rose in mice because of the medication.

Although these findings are encouraging, Wright says there are challenges.

"Translating these findings to humans will be difficult, especially considering that patients taking anti-psychotics have a very low level of exercise adherence," he said. "The next step is to see if we can identify the pathways that are activated during exercise so that we can perhaps target them pharmacologically or nutritionally."

While clinicians have been looking at different ways to prevent higher blood glucose levels by prescribing anti-diabetic drugs, Wright said his lab is interested in exercise physiology and trying to figure out how exercise can improve glucose homeostasis.

"Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in individuals that have schizophrenia," said Wright. "And obviously not everything can be attributed to the metabolic effects of these drugs. But if we can look at the big picture and reduce these side effects, hopefully life expectancy and quality of life can be improved because once you go on these drugs you can't really go off of them."

Explore further: Study finds exercise can help enhance diabetic medication

More information: Laura N. Castellani et al, Exercise Protects Against Olanzapine-Induced Hyperglycemia in Male C57BL/6J Mice, Scientific Reports (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-19260-x

Related Stories

Study finds exercise can help enhance diabetic medication

April 6, 2016
Exercise can help enhance the effects of blood glucose-lowering medication, according to an award-winning study by a University of Georgia graduate student.

Team identifies weight-gain receptor linked to antipsychotic drugs

August 15, 2017
Many schizophrenic and depressed patients experience weight gain and type 2 diabetes in their quests for the life-changing benefits of a major class of antipsychotic drugs.

A single workout could save your life

December 13, 2017
There is plenty of evidence that being physically active can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, but when do the benefits of exercise start to pay off? You might think that it's after a few weeks – or even months ...

Schizophrenia could directly increase risk of diabetes

January 12, 2017
People with early schizophrenia are at an increased risk of developing diabetes, even when the effects of antipsychotic drugs, diet and exercise are taken out of the equation, according to an analysis by researchers from ...

How exercise training promotes a sound mind in a sound body

February 6, 2018
A new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that the same mechanisms behind the beneficial effects of exercise training on the brain also help to counteract fat and to strengthen the immune system. The results, ...

The metabolic effects of antipsychotic drugs

July 12, 2011
Research to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, may explain why some antipsychotic ...

Recommended for you

Mouse model aids study of immunomodulation

November 19, 2018
Because mice do not respond to immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), preclinical therapeutic and safety studies of the effects of IMiDs have not been possible in existing types of mice. This has led to an inability to accurately ...

Rapid response inpatient education boosts use of needed blood-thinning drugs

November 16, 2018
A new study designed to reach hospitalized patients at risk shows that a "real-time" educational conversation, video or leaflet can lower the missed dose rates of drugs that can prevent potentially lethal blood clots in their ...

Drug overdose epidemic goes far beyond opioids, requires new policies

November 7, 2018
Most government-funded initiatives to address the overdose epidemic in the United States have targeted opioids specifically and have neglected other drugs that are increasingly implicated in overdoses, such as cocaine and ...

Zebrafish larvae help in search for appetite suppressants

November 2, 2018
Researchers at the University of Zurich and Harvard University have developed a new strategy in the search for psychoactive drugs. By analyzing the behavior of larval zebrafish, they can filter out substances with unwanted ...

FDA OKs powerful opioid pill as alternative to IV painkiller

November 2, 2018
U.S. regulators on Friday approved a fast-acting, super-potent opioid tablet as an alternative to IV painkillers used in hospitals.

Amphetamine-related hospitalizations surged between 2003 and 2015

November 2, 2018
An analysis conducted by Hennepin Healthcare, University of Minnesota School of Public Health and University of Michigan researchers shows amphetamine-related hospitalizations increased more than 270 percent from 2008 to ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

LaPortaMA
not rated yet Mar 22, 2018
Even worse science "reporting" than usual. Would you like a list of mis-statements? Let me know after you look for yourself. And you WILL be graded.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.