According to a new research on addictions by the University at Buffalo Research Institute, a key mechanism in aerobic exercise can aid in influencing the brain in various ways that can enable it to respond to treatments for addiction in a better way. Aerobic exercise, commonly known as cardio, is basically a brisk exercise, which augments breathing and oxygen circulation through the blood, and is associated with the remedying a number of health issues, including various cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and diabetes. This exercise also assist in treating various issued related to mental health, such as stress, anxiety and depression.
Panayotis (Peter) Thanos, a senior research scientist and the senior author of this study states that, apart from these benefits, several studies shows that aerobic exercise has been efficient in preventing the onset, increase, and reversion of substance usage in a number of categories, such as alcohol, stimulants, nicotine, and opioids. “The research work strive for helping in identifying the core neurobiological mechanisms, which are driving these changes,” he added further.
With the use of animal models, the team of researchers found out that aerobic exercise on a daily basis changed the mesolimbic dopamine pathway in their brain. The key neurotransmitter related to substance use disorders is dopamine, which plays an important role in reward, learning, and motivation. “The current piece of work is looking at if the exercise can control dopamine indicating that has been altered by chronic drug usage, as this may offer significant support to how exercise could act as a treatment for substance abuse victims,” Thanos stated.