Today in Research: A Side Effect of Exercising for the Depressed; More

By The Atlantic Wire

Discovered: a '"dirty secret" of science, StarCraft's research value, how exercise effects the depressed, and three's a trend when it comes to doctor hygiene studies.

  • A side effect of exercising for the depressed. Sure, you know exercise will make you feel better even though it's easier to wallow in front of Netflix. But there is a new, interesting study in this vein -- one that goes beyond just a "exercise is good for you" finding. The New York Times Well blog parses a study claiming that it takes longer for the depressed to recuperate after exercise. "[C]linical depression may hamper the body's ability to recover from physical activity, prolonging the amount of time it takes for a depressed person's heart rate to slow down and return to normal after a workout." The doctor behind the study speculated to the newspaper that "people with major depression have a dysfunctional stress response." [The New York Times Well]
  • Problem: a lot of groundbreaking studies can't be replicated. As we've noted before, the pressure to deliver the "first," "groundbreaking," or attention-grabbing findings might be taking a toll on researchers. Today, the Wall Street Journal is pushing another trend. "This is one of medicine's dirty secrets: Most results, including those that appear in top-flight peer-reviewed journals, can't be reproduced." If finding's can't be reproduced, it cast's doubts on their validity. The Journal cites a few innocuous theories for why this is, one being that the lab methods are getting "more sophisticated" and that "more variables there are in an experiment, the more likely it is that small, unintended errors will pile up." But, as anyone who's glanced at Retraction Watch blog has noticed, there's also been a reported rise in errors, which The Journal also originally reported. [The Wall Street Journal]

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/12/today-in-research-a-side-effect-of-exercising-for-the-depressed-more/249120/