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Researchers Figure Out Factors Responsible For Nicotine Cravings In Smokers

March 21, 2007

In a recent experiment headed by Jed E. Rose, Ph.D., director of the Duke Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research, when brain scanning was conducted on smokers it became apparent that there are three specific active areas in the brain that control nicotine dependence and cigarette cravings in a smoker. These key areas in the brain are identified as thalamus, striatumm and anterior cingulate cortex.

Research findings have also made it apparent that these three specific parts of the brain siginficantly influence the key factors that lead to cigarette addiction in a man such as the necessity to get rid of stress as well as to achieve concentration and the urge in an individual to derive pleasure from smoking. Jed E. Rose, the head researcher explains that these parts of the brain explain the cause of smoking cessation failure and he also adds that drugs or other anti-smoking treaments that target these brain portions may help a smoker to get rid of smoking addiction.

In the experiment, the reseachers manipulated nicotine dependence and cigarette smoking levels in 15 smokers, enrolled for the purpose and thereafter scanned their brains by using positron emission tomography, or PET scans.

According to researchers at Duke University Medical Center, when a smoker attempts to quit smoking , the higher-order functions of his brain propels him to get rid of smoking addiction while the lower -order functions try to induce cigarette cravings at the same time and thus the person fails in his smoking cessation attempts.

The experiment was funded by Phillip Morris USA and the results are now online in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com


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