The GREAT II Study: Groups Receiving Exercise As Treatment

Exercise for Adolescents with Depressive and Bipolar Disorders

Treating symptoms of depression in the context of bipolar disorder is a challenge for youth and adults. Additionally, adolescents in this population are often prescribed mood stabilizing and antipsychotic medications that cause considerable weight gain and potential life-long health consequences. This research is investigating exercise as treatment for adolescents with depression who have or are at risk for bipolar disorder. 

The study consists of a 12-week exercise intervention: one supervised group session and two independent sessions each week. Self-report measures are used to assess mood, sleep, and adaptive functioning. Exercise is verified by wearable activity monitors (i.e. Fitbits). Blood draws are used to monitor insulin, glucose, and inflammatory markers before and after the 12-week exercise intervention.

This research has the potential to improve the quality of treatment and overall health outcomes by addressing negative health side effects associated with traditional medications for bipolar disorder. Exercise may expand treatment options in the context of adolescent bipolar disorder and may increase self-management strategies as these adolescents meet the challenges of living life with bipolar disorder.

This project builds on previous feasibility studies which Dr. Richard Dopp has completed investigating exercise as treatment for adolescents with depression. 

To learn more about possible participation in this exercise research study, please contact the research coordinator, Ann Mooney, M.S.W., at 734-232-2901 or ajmooney@med.umich.edu

This study has received approval from IRBMED: HUM#00094180.