Brain Scan May Help Smokers Quit

by Jenny Novac on January 5, 2015

Quit Smoking

People who use cigarettes know that quitting is difficult, especially if you smoke for years. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say they found an effective way to quit.

The talk is about quick brain scan. The research was funded by Pennsylvania Department of Health and the National Cancer Institute. It was published in the  journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.

In their study they discovered that a technology measuring brain activity helped to  register particular changes in the brain. The obtained data helped to determine which smokers would start smoking again and which would quit for good.

Caryn Lerman, author of the study and chief of Penn’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction, says that in comparison with other quit smoking methods the new one is cheap and has no side effects. Smokers may receive treatments which improve goal-directed thinking that usually weakens during cigarette withdrawal.  One more advantage of the method is individual approach towards the smoker.

According to the researchers, the method may be used not only for quitting, but also in fighting with obesity and other addictions.

Joseph Frascella, a division director for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), welcomes the study results saying scientists discovered potentially effective way for smoking cessation.

According to  Norman Edelman,  who is a professor of preventive and internal medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and senior scientific adviser to the American Lung Association, previous studies were based on behavior and the new one is necessary to explore in order to have more different methods for different people. The researchers say that the best way to quit for good is to use various smoking cessation methods at once.

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