Aerobic training can help treat drug or alcohol dependence by altering the brain's reward system, a study found.
Aerobic exercise is also known as a "cardio" exercise that increases heart rate, breathing and circulation of oxygen by increasing blood, and is associated with the reduction of many negative health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.
It is also associated with numerous mental benefits, such as reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
University of Buffalo scientists in the United States identified a key mechanism in how aerobic exercise can help to influence the brain in ways that help promote treatment and prevention strategies for addiction.
"Several studies have shown that aerobic exercise, in addition to these benefits, was effective in preventing the onset, increase and relapse of substance use in a number of categories, including alcohol, nicotine, stimulants and opioids," said Panayotis Thanos, senior scientist at the University of Buffalo.
"Our work seeks to identify the underlying neurobiological mechanisms that drive these changes," said Thanos
Using animal models, daily aerobic exercise changed the mesolimbic dopamine pathway in the brain
Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter which is associated with substance use disorders plays an important role in reward, motivation and learning.
"The current work investigates whether exercise can normalize the dopamine signaling pathway that has been altered by chronic drug use, as this could be an important support for how abuse could serve as a treatment strategy for substance abuse," he said ,
"More studies focusing on people with substance use disorders should help researchers to develop new ways to integrate movement into treatment regimens that can prevent relapse," said Thanos
which was edited by Business Standard staff is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)