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In addiction, meditation is helpful when coupled with drug and cognitive therapies
Date:12/19/2013

e." Other brain structures are affected by the addictive substance, impairing the addict's evaluation of drug use compared to other reinforcers, he adds.

To bind the two theories and test how they could work together in silico, the authors follow three virtual case studies, each representing a different trajectory of allostatic state during escalation of cigarette smoking. Case Study 1 shows a virtual subject consuming drugs for the first time, relapsing after a period of abstinence with a concomitant negative shift in mood, a baseline situation with no therapeutic intervention. In Case Study 2, among other variations, the virtual subject uses a nicotine patch for 25 days while the same variables including mood are evaluated as for Case Study 1. In Case Study 3, the virtual subject undergoes treatment intended to emulate healing therapy periods that include meditation.

Among other outcomes, Levy says, "We try to describe what could be the cognitive effect of using a nicotine patch. What does it imply at the cognitive level, when people are willing to use one? Others have showed changes in prefrontal cortex where decisions are made, in executive function, as drug use progresses. Also, we did a small simulation of a couple of weeks with a patch, then tried to simulate the cognitive effect of using meditation for a few weeks."

Overall, "This investigation provides formal arguments encouraging current rehabilitation therapies to include meditation-like practices along with pharmaceutical drugs and behavioral counseling," the authors write.


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Contact: Janet Lathrop
jlathrop@admin.umass.edu
413-545-0444
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Source:Eurekalert  

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