The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH



We were provided the exercise intervention for the Treatment with Exercise Augmentation for Depression (TrEAD) trial being conducted by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

TrEAD is a 4-year study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health evaluating the efficacy of aerobic exercise as an adjunctive treatment (i.e., augmentation strategy) for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Patients who have an incomplete response to an SSRI antidepressant medication and continue to experience significant residual symptoms were eligible to participate. Incomplete response to antidepressant medication (with significant residual symptoms) is common in MDD and associated with increased relapse and poorer quality of life and daily function. Augmentation strategies are often used to alleviate residual symptoms. However, limitations of pharmacological augmentations, such as lack of evidence for efficacy and increased side effects, often render these strategies undesirable.

Exercise may be a viable augmenting strategy for the treatment of residual symptoms of depression among persons taking SSRI antidepressant because exercise is associated with a reduced risk of side effects, as well as many health benefits, including increased longevity and prevention of many common medical conditions (e.g., heart disease, diabetes).

The goal of the TrEAD study was remission, a virtual absence of depressive symptoms and a return to normal levels of daily function. Patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for MDD, who have been taking an adequate dose of an SSRI antidepressant for 6 weeks or more, and who are not currently exercising, weree eligible to participate in the study. The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD17) was the primary outcome measure. Other measures of depression (e.g., 30-item versions of the Inventory for Depressive Symptomatology) and health-related quality of life will also be evaluated.


Authorship Publication  
Rethorst CD, Toups MS, Greer TL, Nakonezny PA, Carmody TJ, Grannemann BD, Huebinger RM, Barber RC, Trivedi MH. Pro-inflammatory cytokines as predictors of antidepressant effects of exercise in major depressive disorder. Mol Psychiatry. 2013 Oct;18(10):1119-24. doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.125. Epub 2012 Aug 28. Read Abstract
Trivedi MH, Greer TL, Church TS, Carmody TJ, Grannemann BD, Galper DI, Dunn AL, Earnest CP, Sunderajan P, Henley SS, Blair SN. Exercise as an augmentation treatment for nonremitted major depressive disorder: a randomized, parallel dose comparison. J Clin Psychiatry. 2011 May;72(5):677-84. doi: 10.4088/JCP.10m06743. Read Abstract
Toups MS, Greer TL, Kurian BT, Grannemann BD, Carmody TJ, Huebinger R, Rethorst C, Trivedi MH. Effects of serum Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor on exercise augmentation treatment of depression. J Psychiatr Res. 2011 Oct;45(10):1301-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.05.002. Read Abstract
Trivedi MH, Greer TL, Grannemann BD, Church TS, Galper DI, Sunderajan P, Wisniewski SR, Chambliss HO, Jordan AN, Finley C, Carmody TI. TREAD: TReatment with Exercise Augmentation for Depression: study rationale and design. Clin Trials. 2006;3(3):291-305. Read Abstract