Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stimulating the brain blunts cigarette craving

Date:
April 16, 2013
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths globally. Unfortunately smoking cessation is difficult, with more than 90% of attempts to quit resulting in relapse.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths globally. Unfortunately smoking cessation is difficult, with more than 90% of attempts to quit resulting in relapse.

There are a growing number of available methods that can be tried in the effort to reduce smoking, including medications, behavioral therapies, hypnosis, and even acupuncture. All attempt to alter brain function or behavior in some way.

A new study published in Biological Psychiatry now reports that a single 15-minute session of high frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the prefrontal cortex temporarily reduced cue-induced smoking craving in nicotine-dependent individuals.

Nicotine activates the dopamine system and reward-related regions in the brain. Nicotine withdrawal naturally results in decreased activity of these regions, which has been closely associated with craving, relapse, and continued nicotine consumption.

One of the critical reward-related regions is the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which can be targeted using a brain stimulation technology called transcranial magnetic stimulation. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells. It does not require sedation or anesthesia and so patients remain awake, reclined in a chair, while treatment is administered through coils placed near the forehead.

Dr. Xingbao Li and colleagues at Medical University of South Carolina examined cravings triggered by smoking cues in 16 nicotine-dependent volunteers who received one session each of high frequency or sham repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation applied over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This design allowed the researchers to ferret out the effects of the real versus the sham stimulation, similar to how placebo pills are used in evaluating the effectiveness and safety of new medications.

They found that craving induced by smoking cues was reduced after participants received real stimulation. They also report that the reduction in cue-induced craving was positively correlated with level of nicotine dependence; in other words, the TMS-induced craving reductions were greater in those with higher levels of nicotine use.

Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry, commented, "One of the elegant aspects of this study is that it suggests that specific manipulations of particular brain circuits may help to protect smokers and possibly people with other addictions from relapsing."

"While this was only a temporary effect, it raises the possibility that repeated TMS sessions might ultimately be used to help smokers quit smoking. TMS as used in this study is safe and is already FDA approved for treating depression. This finding opens the way for further exploration of the use of brain stimulation techniques in smoking cessation treatment," said Li.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xingbao Li, Karen J. Hartwell, Max Owens, Todd LeMatty, Jeffrey J. Borckardt, Colleen A. Hanlon, Kathleen T. Brady, Mark S. George. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Reduces Nicotine Cue Craving. Biological Psychiatry, 2013; 73 (8): 714 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.01.003

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Stimulating the brain blunts cigarette craving." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130416085141.htm>.
Elsevier. (2013, April 16). Stimulating the brain blunts cigarette craving. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130416085141.htm
Elsevier. "Stimulating the brain blunts cigarette craving." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130416085141.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Newsy (July 17, 2014) Washington D.C.'s new laws decriminalizing small amount of marijuana went into effect Thursday. Here's how they work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins