Navigation Links
Nicotine withdrawal weakens brain connections tied to self-control over cigarette cravings
Date:3/12/2014

PHILADELPHIA People who try to quit smoking often say that kicking the habit makes the voice inside telling them to light up even louder, but why people succumb to those cravings so often has never been fully understood. Now, a new brain imaging study in this week's JAMA Psychiatry from scientists in Penn Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Intramural Research Program shows how smokers suffering from nicotine withdrawal may have more trouble shifting from a key brain networkknown as default mode, when people are in a so-called "introspective" or "self-referential" state and into a control network, the so-called executive control network, that could help exert more conscious, self-control over cravings and to focus on quitting for good.

The findings help validate a neurobiological basis behind why so many people trying to quit end up relapsingup to 80 percent, depending on the type of treatmentand may lead to new ways to identify smokers at high risk for relapse who need more intensive smoking cessation therapy.

The brain imaging study was led by researchers at University of Pennsylvania's new Brain and Behavior Change Program, led by Caryn Lerman, PhD, who is also the deputy director of Penn's Abramson Cancer Center, and Elliot Stein, PhD, and collaborators at NIDA. They found that smokers who abstained from cigarettes showed weakened interconnectivity between certain large-scale networks in their brains: the default mode network, the executive control network, and the salience network. They posit that this weakened connectivity reduces smokers' ability to shift into or maintain greater influence from the executive control network, which may ultimately help maintain their quitting attempt.

"What we believe this means is that smokers who just quit have a more difficult time shifting gears from inward thoughts about how they feel to an outward focus on the tasks at hand," said Lerman, who also serves as the Mary W. Calkins professor in the Department of Psychiatry. "It's very important for people who are trying to quit to be able to maintain activity within the control network to be able to shift from thinking about yourself and your inner state to focus on your more immediate goals and plan."

Prior studies have looked at the effects of nicotine on brain interconnectivity in the resting state, that is, in the absence of any specific goal directed activity. This is the first study, however, to compare resting brain connectivity in an abstinent state and when people are smoking as usual, and then relate those changes to symptoms of craving and mental performance.

For the study, researchers conducted brain scans on 37 healthy smokers (those who smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day) ages 19 to 61 using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in two different sessions: 24 hours after biochemically confirmed abstinence and after smoking as usual.

Imaging showed a significantly weaker connectivity between the salience network and default mode network during abstinence, compared with their sated state. Also, weakened connectivity during abstinence was linked with increases in smoking urges, negative mood, and withdrawal symptoms, suggesting that this weaker internetwork connectivity may make it more difficult for people to quit.

Establishing the strength of the connectivity between these large-scale brain networks will be important in predicting people's ability to quit and stay quit, the authors write. Also, such connectivity could serve as a clinical biomarker to identify smokers who are most likely to respond to a particular treatment.

"Symptoms of withdrawal are related to changes in smokers' brains, as they adjust to being off of nicotine, and this study validates those experiences as having a biological basis," said Lerman. "The next step will be to identify in advance those smokers who will have more difficultly quitting and target more intensive treatments, based on brain activity and network connectivity."


'/>"/>

Contact: Steve Graff
stephen.graff@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5653
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. E-cigarettes: Gateway to nicotine addiction for US teens, says UCSF study
2. Prenatal nicotine exposure may lead to ADHD in future generations
3. Study Documents Secondhand Exposure to Nicotine from Electronic Cigarette Vapor
4. First trial to compare e-cigarettes with nicotine patches
5. A survey of GPs reveals that many identify nicotine as a harmful cigarette-smoke component
6. Magnetic Brain Stimulation May Temporarily Dull Nicotine Craving
7. FDA Gives Nod to Longer Use of Nicotine Patch, Gum
8. Electronic nicotine delivery systems could help reduce smoking
9. Many Americans Back Nicotine Restrictions in Cigarettes: Survey
10. Researchers find why nicotine in cigarettes may relieve anxiety in smokers
11. Experimental Vaccine Seems to Stop Nicotine Addiction in Mice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Nicotine withdrawal weakens brain connections tied to self-control over cigarette cravings
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... DDi ... Management Solution Providers list for its expertise in eClinical Solutions. DDi has built ... serve the technology needs of global clients. DDi provides smarter technology for Clinical ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) ... and serving the lymphoma community through a comprehensive series of education programs, outreach ... community at its 10th anniversary Fashion Luncheon on Monday, February 8, 2016. The ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... Coco Libre, the maker of coconut water beverages with a purpose, is ... Coco Libre will offer musicians and celebrities the company’s signature Organic Coconut Water, a ... suite, held this year at the W Hollywood Hotel, has become a pre-show “must” ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... NV (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Fisher ... Las Vegas Mayor John J. Lee, Nevada Military Support Alliance president Scott Bensing, and ... House at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System. This will be the first ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Young Asset Protection, a ... beginning of the latest charity campaign in their community enrichment program. Art Expression ... this worthy cause are currently being accepted at: http://artexpressioninc.org/ . , Art ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Maharashtra, February 12, 2016 ... Market research report titled Chronic Inflammation Global Clinical ... a snapshot of the global clinical trials landscape ... clinical trials by Region, Country (G7 & E7), ... point status and reviews top companies involved and ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016 Stem cells are primitive ... by self-renewal and the capacity to differentiate into mature ... discovery, as the first mouse embryonic stem cells were ... until 1995 that the first culturing of embryonic stem ... were not produced until 2006 As a result of ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 11, 2016  Kindred ... focused on saving and improving the lives of pets, ... Technical Section of the New Animal Drug Application (NADA) ... the pivotal field study (KB0120) of Zimeta for the ... by the Company. --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: