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WVU looking for diabetes, depression study participants

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FAIRMONT -Statistics show that Type 2 diabetes is one of the biggest public health concerns facing Americans.

The Appalachian states consistently rank among the worst for number of cases. 

The West Virginia University School of Medicine has partnered up with Indiana and Ohio Universities to study how different types of therapy can help the condition. 

Program ACTIVE is funded by a $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and aims to address the best way to treat depression in Type 2 diabetes.
 
The study is based in Morgantown and is looking for participants in Monongalia, Marion, Taylor, Harrison, and Preston Counties.

"We are going to try to help people who are depressed with Type 2 diabetes and see what is the best way to help them treat their depression," said Dr. Guyton Hornsby at the WVU School of Medicine. 

Dr. Guyton Hornsby said the study focuses on two forms of therapy that have worked for depression in the past.

These include cognitive behavioral therapy in which a participant talks to a therapist for 10 sessions and exercise therapy.

"Showing how exercise effects depression and the mood and it's been shown that exercise can be just as effective as depression medications that people are on," said Whitney Hickman of Healthplex. 

People who participate in exercise therapy won't have to travel far. 

There are centers in all five participating counties.

"We're going to get them to log their activity on logs," Hickman said. "They are also going to wear pedometer and we check that blood glucose beginning before an after exercise."

The therapy will last a total of three months but doctors will continue to monitor the progress of the patients afterward. 

They believe this study can be very beneficial to those living with diabetes and depression.

"Anyone will be accepted if they have a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes for at least one year and they have had severe depressive disorder for at least two weeks," Dr. Hornsby said. 

If you are someone who meets all of the qualifications and are interested in participating in the study, doctors encourage you to call 855-DMACTIV (1-855-362-2848). 

For more information on the study, visit the Program ACTIVE website.