The researchers found that damage to the insula – a brain region that promotes conscious feelings of hunger, pain and cravings – allowed some heavy smokers to quit with ease.Ooh, that's creepy implications: someday we may be able to make people permanently painless, hungerless, or desireless with a well-placed electrode or implant.
Commenting on the work, Paul Matthews, a clinical neuroscientist at Imperial College in London, UK, said: “The problem people have in 'kicking' smoking is cigarette craving – the urge to smoke. The most remarkable finding in this study is that damage to a particular brain area may block this urge. Now we can ask: could a functional neurosurgeon implant stimulation electrodes to do the same thing? Could there be a surgical 'cure' for smoking?”
The study was inspired by a patient who lost the urge to smoke immediately after a stroke damaged his insula. He had smoked about 40 cigarettes a day.
Jan 25, 2007
blocking addiction in the insula
Ooh, that's cool implications: someday we may be able to beat a cigarette addiction with a well-placed electrode or implant.