Effects of exercise training on depression and anxiety with changing neurotransmitters in methamphetamine long term abusers: A narrative review

Hamid Arazi*, Seyedeh Shiva Dadvand, Katsuhiko Suzuki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Study aim: It is generally accepted that methamphetamine (MA) is a highly addictive psychostimulant which copies functions of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, and emits dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Frequent abuse of methamphetamine damages dopaminergic and serotonergic nerve endings at different sites of brain and also increases the anxiety and depression. Exercise seems to reverse physiological and neurological damages due to previous MA dependents and help to reduce anxiety and depression in this population. The aim is to determine the effect of exercise training on neurotransmitters and rate of depression and anxiety in chronic methamphetamine abusers based on a literature review. Materials and methods: The present study investigated published articles in five computerized databases including Magiran, Google scholars, SID, PubMed and Scopus from 2011 until 2020. The searched keywords included sports, neurotransmitter, methamphetamine, depression, anxiety and treatment. The obtained results were described using texts, table and figure. Results: According to the results, physical activity and exercise significantly increased blood serotonin and dopamine levels and significantly decreased the depression and anxiety. Conclusion: Different evidences suggested that physical activity and exercise as positive responses and adaptations might influence on circulatory levels of two neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) in methamphetamine addicts, decrease anxiety and depression, and improve preparation in previous MA dependents. In the rehabilitation period, the overall improvement in previous MA dependents might significantly increase. Exercise training can improve the physical and mental state of people addicted to methamphetamine as a non-drug therapy to promote health. However, more research is necessary to support this conclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalBiomedical Human Kinetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 1


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Exercise Training
  • Methamphetamine
  • Neurotransmitter
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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