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Researchers study whether exercise can help prevent drug relapse


Regular exercise has been shown to do all sorts of good things: build muscle, improve cardiovascular health, reduce stroke risk and boost mood. But could it also help prevent drug addicts from relapsing? Researchers at the University of Georgia and Emory University are using a $1.9 million NIH grant to try to answer that question. From Medical News Today:

Previous research in [Philip] Holmes' lab has demonstrated that exercise exerts anti-stress effects. A chemical called galanin, which increases in the brain during exercise, appears to reduce cravings associated with stress.

"Stress turns on norepinephrine," said Holmes, "which turns on dopamine, which induces craving. Galanin decreases norepinephrine, so someone with high levels of galanin should experience reduced cravings."

For the project, Holmes will measure exercise-induced increases of the galanin gene activity in the rat brain...

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