View Full Version : Telecourse:Harnessing the Psychiatric Effects of Exercise-Ratey

01-04-07, 03:06 PM
Syllabus for Harnessing the Psychiatric Effects of Exercise

Session 1 (March 5, 2007) - Why Aerobic Exercise is for the Brain...The Benefits for the Body are a Free Lunch

We will discuss how exercise affects the brain neurochemically. You will learn how it improves self-esteem, mood, and how it pumps up the attention system. Dr. Ratey will talk about "the moving brain" and why brain evolution supports the need for physical exercise for good mental health. He will also provide an overview of the various chemicals released by exercise, and how they work.

Educational Objectives: Understand how exercise affects the brain neurochemically.

Session 2 (March 12) - Mood and Stress Treatment

We all know instinctively that exercise makes us feel better, that work and sweat lift our mood, assuage guilt, and “raise our endorphins.” This session deals with WHY. Physical activity boosts norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine, the same neurotransmitters that antidepressants target. But even more importantly, we will focus on an emerging new hypothesis of what stress and depression do to disable the brain’s ability to adapt and remain “plastic”, and how exercise combats this effect.

Educational Objectives: Understand the chemical effects that exercise has on the norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine systems and the brain's plasticity.

Session 3 (March 19) - Exercise and Learning Optimization

We will see how physical exercise readies the learner to learn by improving attention, decreasing stress and anxiety, and improving motivation. We will also see the actions of exercise at the cellular level, seeing how the changes exercise produces actually readies our cells to bind together more easily, and this is the building block of learning and memory. You will also learn about the Nerve Growth Factors or a “Miracle Gro” brain fertilizer and how physical exercise is the best way to increase these naturally occurring nutrients. You will also be introduced to the concept of “neurogenesis” and how exercise promotes the actual birth and growth of new nerve cells.

Educational Objectives: Understand neurogenesis and the changes that exercise induces to promote learning.

Session 4 (March 26) - Exercise as a Treatment for ADD

Review of the effect of exercise on the attention system with information about specific exercise programs that may be particularly useful in the treatment of ADHD in both children and adults. Discussion of case studies will highlight successes in an area of often ignored alternative treatment for ADD. Dr. Ratey will also cover why "good stress" helps the brain and how "No Child Left Behind" is negatively affecting performance in schools where exercise is being cut out.

Educational Objectives: Understand the benefits of exercise as a treatment for ADD. Learn what types of stress help the brain.

Session 5 (April 2) - Exercise as a Treatment for Addictions, Tantrums and Anxiety

Learn about the important targets in the brain for helping patients deal with anxiety, aggression and addictions. Discuss new findings that relate to the treatment of these disorders with exercise. Dr. Ratey will present cases and exercise programs and their outcomes.

Educational Objective: Be able to determine when and how to use exercise to treat patients for addictions, tantrums and anxiety.

Session 6 (April 9) - A Very Big Case Study - Welcome to the Revolution

How a programmatic shift in Naperville, IL 12 years ago has evolved into some really revolutionary changes in that school system's performance (18,000 students). Learn the details and what it might mean for education in general. Dr. Ratey will also review other school exercise programs specifically designed to improve academic performance.

Answer questions remaining from the course.

Educational Objectives: Learn through case study, how exercise improves the mind. Review and answer remaining questions on course content.