Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles report exercise helps the brain add new dopamine receptors, which they said lowers desire for methamphetamine and makes it easier to recover from addiction.
Methamphetamine use creates a rush of dopamine, a substance that naturally provides sensations of pleasure and satisfaction but also causes the drug’s approximately six-hour high, which results in a reduction in the number of dopamine receptors as the drug is used more and for longer periods of time.
Although the receptors can recover, how much depends on how long a person has used methamphetamines, with chronic use potentially causing longer-lasting problems with judgment and self-control — which makes abstaining from the drug even more difficult for longtime users.
“We know that deficits in the striatal dopamine system are hallmark features of substance-use disorders and are caused by molecular adaptions to repeated drug exposure and, likely, also reflect a genetic predisposition,” Dr. Edythe London, a professor of psychiatry and molecular and medical pharmacology at UCLA, said in a press release.
For the study, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers recruited 19 people, 10 of whom were asked to walk or jog on a treadmill three times a week for an hour and to do resistance training for eight weeks, while the other nine were given health education training but not asked to exercise.
While more studies are needed to determine how this knowledge can be used with patients, researchers are hopeful it could help people with addictions and possibly those with some neuropsychiatric disorders. To read more click here.
Addictions will be discussed at the 2016 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference themed Alcohol – Other Drugs – Behavioural Addictions, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery will be held on the Gold Coast from the 19 – 20 May 2016. To view the high quality Conference Program CLICK HERE.
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Hosted by The Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association promotes and encourages participation from all parts of the sector towards a shared appreciation of what medical, psycho-social and peer-based approaches can offer, through the experiences of service users, clinicians, and researchers.