WASHINGTON D.C: Exercising can help individuals, addicted to cocaine, who often have altered neural, behavioral and physiological responses to stress.
According to new research led by the University at Buffalo's Panayotis (Peter) Thanos, Ph.D., Exercise can help prevent relapses into cocaine addiction.
"Cocaine addiction is often characterized by cycles of recovery and relapse, with stress and negative emotions, often caused by withdrawal itself, among the major causes of relapse," said Thanos.
Using animal models, he found that regular aerobic exercise (one hour on a treadmill, five times a week) decreased stress-induced cocaine-seeking behavior. Exercise also altered behavioral and physiological responses to stress.
Thanos demonstrated how exercise can alter the brain's mesolimbic dopamine pathway, which is linked to the rewarding and reinforcing properties of drugs such as cocaine.
In addition, exercise has been shown to reduce stress hormones and elevate mood, which could assist in alleviating anxiety and negative emotions associated with withdrawal.
Aerobic exercise also known as cardio is an effective strategy against many physical health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis, along with certain mental health issues, such as stress, anxiety, and depression.
The full findings are present in the journal- Behavioral Brain Research.