1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP

Why Smokers Struggle to Quit (MRI sheds light)

By Jasim, Feb 3, 2009 | Updated: Feb 3, 2009 | | |
Rating:
5/5,
  1. Jasim
    [h2]Why smokers struggle to quit[/h2]

    Just seeing someone smoke can trigger smokers to abandon their nascent efforts to kick the habit, according to new research conducted at Duke University Medical Center.

    Brain scans taken during normal smoking activity and 24 hours after quitting show there is a marked increase in a particular kind of brain activity when quitters see photographs of people smoking.

    The study, which appears online in Psychopharmacology, sheds important light on why it's so hard for people to quit smoking, and why they relapse so quickly, explains Joseph McClernon, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center.

    "Only five percent of unaided quit attempts result in successful abstinence," says McClernon. "Most smokers who try to quit return to smoking again. We are trying to understand how that process works in the brain, and this research brings us one step closer."

    The Duke researchers used a brain-imaging tool called functional MRI to visualize changes in brain activity that occurs when smokers quit. The smokers were scanned once before quitting and again 24 hours after they quit. Each time they were scanned while being shown photographs of people smoking.

    "Quitting smoking dramatically increased brain activity in response to seeing the smoking cues," says McClernon, "which seems to indicate that quitting smoking is actually sensitizing the brain to these smoking cues."

    Even more surprising, he adds, is the area of the brain that was activated by the cues. "We saw activation in the dorsal striatum, an area involved in learning habits or things we do by rote, like riding a bike or brushing our teeth. Our research shows us that when smokers encounter these cues after quitting, it activates the area of the brain responsible for automatic responses. That means quitting smoking may not be a matter of conscious control. So, if we're really going to help people quit, this emphasizes the need to do more than tell people to resist temptation. We also have to help them break that habitual response."

    New treatment options at Duke are aiming to do just that. One area of research is focusing on the use of a nicotine patch prior to quitting smoking.

    In previously published research, Jed Rose, Director of the Duke Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research and co-author of this paper as well, showed that wearing the patch and smoking a cigarette with no nicotine proved successful at breaking the learned behavior. "The smoking behavior is not reinforced because the act of smoking is not leading them to get the nicotine," Rose said. "Doing this before people actually quit helps them break the habit so they start smoking less. We're seeing people quit longer this way."

    By Duke Medicine News and Communications

    Date: 05/01/2009

    Source - http://www.dukehealth.org/HealthLibrary/News/new_findings_shed_light_on_why_smokers_struggle_to_quit

Comments

  1. chillinwill
    Please note that the way we post news has changed, because of our main news page. You can find the full instructions here.

    The most important changes are:

    • Articles are no longer posted in quotes.
    • The introduction of the article should be in bold.
    • Images should be added if possible and placed in the article, following the instructions linked to above and here.
    • Information about the article, like link, author, date should be posted below the article.
    • Your personal comments about the article can be posted either in quotes at the end of the article or in a separate post.
    • The news forums may contain news articles only
    • Make sure you include all the text from the original article. Don't just post the URL because web pages often disappear or get moved over time. Remove all unnecessary formatting from the text before posting. One easy way to do this is to paste the text into notepad or another text editor first, which will remove any formatting. Also try to remove picture captions, advertisement links and other text that doesn't belong to the body of the article.

    Please be so kind to review your articles and correct this.

    Further it may be good to know that recent articles with the highest thread ratings show up on the main news page. So without ratings, many people will not see it. So please rate news treads.
    The main news page is accessible from the tabs on the top of any DF page.
  2. Jasim
    My first news post! :)
    Thanks for the help chillinwill.
  3. chillinwill
    No problem. Glad to help out and hope to see some more good news articles from ya!
  4. RoboCodeine7610
    Damn, that's interesting.I mean cigarettes are really, really addictive and I've seen this first hand from personal experience and from people I've known.I smoked a pack of Marlboro Red every day for like 6 months and after that it was a nightmare to quit.I got anxious and craved for the cigarettes like crazy.I'd punch walls and scream at the simplest things...It was hell.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!