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Study touts exercise in preventing relapse to cocaine addiction

August 9, 2018
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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A University at Buffalo researcher suggests that regular aerobic exercise could help prevent relapse to cocaine addiction.

Using animal models, Panayotis Thanos of the university's Research Institute on Addictions found that the equivalent of one hour of exercise on a treadmill five times a week resulted in a decrease in stress-induced cocaine-seeking behavior. According to a news release from the university, exercise also altered behavioral and physiological responses to stress.

Thanos, whose study was published online in Behavioural Brain Research, has demonstrated how exercise can alter the brain's mesolimbic dopamine pathway, which is linked to the reinforcing properties of cocaine and other drugs.

“Our results suggest that regular aerobic exercise could be a useful strategy for relpase prevention, as part of a comprehensive treatment program for recovering cocaine abusers,” Thanos said. “Further research is necessary to see if these results also hold true for other addictive drugs.”



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