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Chrissie Cole
Chrissie Cole
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Brain injury may Help Smokers Quit

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New research and studies is showing a silver dollar sized spot in the brain can wipe away the urge to smoke cigarettes. This surprising discovery may bring to light important information about addictions and how they work, as a whole.

“The quitting is like a light switch that went off,” said Dr. Antoine Bechara of the University of Southern California, who scanned the brains of 69 smokers and ex-smokers to pinpoint the region involved. “This is very striking.”

Of course, brain injury isn’t a recommended treatment option for people who realistically want to quit smoking. However, the findings, will point scientists toward new avenues of developing aids that will help smokers to quit by targeting this silver dollar sized spot in the brain called the “insula.”

“What this study shows unequivocally is the insula is a key structure in the brain for perceiving the urges to take the drug,” urges that are “the backbone of the addiction,” Volkow added.

Past studies focused on regions of the cortex that involve thinking and decision making. However, those regions are involved in maintaining habits. The new research is suggesting they are not as central as the insula is.

“It’s a fantastic paper, it’s a fantastic finding,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a longtime investigator of the brain’s addiction pathways.