Navigation Links
'Brain Signature' for Cigarette Cravings Identified
Date:12/21/2007

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new brain imaging study by researchers in the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania shows that cigarette cravings in smokers who are deprived of nicotine are linked with increased activation in specific regions of the brain. Using a novel method of measuring brain blood flow developed by John Detre, MD, associate professor of Neurology at Penn, this study is the first to show how abstinence from nicotine produces brain activation patterns that relate to urges to smoke. The findings, published in the December 19, 2007, issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, make an important contribution to understanding smoking urges, a key risk factor for relapse, at the brain level.

According to Caryn Lerman, Ph.D., Director of the Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center and senior author of the paper, and colleagues John Detre, MD, and Ze Wang, Ph.D., cravings are a hallmark of drug dependence, including nicotine dependence. "There have been several brain imaging studies showing how subjects respond to visual, smoking-related cues, such as a picture of a cigarette or of someone smoking," said Lerman. "However, less is known about the neural basis of urges that arise naturally as a result of nicotine deprivation. This study was designed help fill this research gap."

This joint research effort between Penn's Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center and the Center for Functional Neuroimaging, used MRI arterial spin labeled (ASL) technology. ASL, a non-invasive technique for the measurement of cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the brain, was used to compare resting CBF across two scanning sessions which varied by length of periods of abstinence from smoking. Fifteen regular smokers were included in the study. Each participant was scanned in a resting state on two separate occasions: participants smoked a cigarette within an hour of the one scan, and abstained from smoking overnight for the other scan.

The findings indicate that abstinence-induced, unprovoked cravings to smoke are associated with increased activation in brain regions important in attention, behavioral control, memory, and reward. "The craving assessments used in our study predict relapse in smoking cessation treatment," said Lerman. "If validated in larger studies, these results may have important clinical implications. For example, perfusion MRI may aid in the identification of smokers at increased risk for relapse who may require more intensive therapy."

This research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Cancer Institute.

About the Center

The mission of the University of Pennsylvania Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC) is to translate discoveries in basic neuroscience, pharmacology, genetics, and behavioral science to improve treatment for nicotine dependence.

PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals -- its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation's "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multi-specialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.

This news release was issued on behalf of Newswise(TM). For more information, visit http://www.newswise.com.


'/>"/>
SOURCE University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Video: New Research Discovers Independent Brain Networks Control Human Walking
2. Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Doses First Patient in Cotara(R) Phase II Brain Cancer Trial In India
3. HistoRx and Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Initiate Brain Tumor Biomarker Research Partnership
4. Sports Legacy Institute Announces Findings of Forensic Examinations on Wrestler Chris Benoits Brain
5. Vion Pharmaceuticals Announces Initiation of a Phase I/II Trial of Cloretazine(R) (VNP40101M) in Combination with Temodar(R) in Adult Brain Tumors
6. New Study Demonstrates 4 Year Olds Fed Enfamil LIPIL(R) as Infants Have Brain and Eye Outcomes Similar to Breastfed Babies
7. One Shot of Gene Therapy Spreads Through Brain in Animal Study
8. Researchers Report First Successful Treatment of Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury
9. Mayo Clinic Clarifies Diagnosis and Treatment for Rare, Serious Blood Vessel Disease of Brain and Spinal Cord
10. Mitchell, Military TBI Task Force Highlight the Importance of Traumatic Brain Injury Research; Mitchell Endorses Ground Breaking Traumatic Brain Injury Study
11. PET Scans Show Gene Therapy Normalizes Brain Function in Parkinsons Patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs (ARL), a ... now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, homes, thanks ... Inc. Patients are no longer limited to having ... PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... According to a new market ... Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, ... of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts ... market for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. ... by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 ... the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was ... Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member ... independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned ... developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made ... in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for ... popular and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong ... Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. ... to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June ... with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking ... common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary ... Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support its work ... marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):