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Addiction Remission And The Faulty Brain Circuit: New Study

    news 6 July featured

    Mental Health News

    Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital explored brain areas associated with addiction remission. The study is published in the journal Nature Medicine.

    The Study

    The researchers studied two different groups of patients who were addicted to nicotine and then suffered a brain lesion, usually from a stroke. They used a new technique called lesion network mapping to map addiction remission circuits across the brain rather than specific brain regions.

    They compared the results of the study with another group study in which patients hitherto addicted to smoking experienced remission of smoking addiction after a brain injury.

    The Findings

    The results revealed that the brain circuit for addiction remission extends to the entire brain and is not limited to not specific brain regions. They also found that a singly brain circuit is responsible for addiction remission—be it for alcohol, narcotics, or tobacco addiction.

    Towards Interventions

    The researchers are enthusiastic that the study helps understand better the causal links between addiction and neuroanatomy. Now a single neural pathway in the brain can be therapeutically targeted to reduce multiple substance use disorders. For instance, medical professionals can customize neuromodulation therapies (such as deep brain stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and MRI-guided focused ultrasound) to treat addiction disorders.

    One of the lead researchers, Juho Joutsa, explained: “Our findings with essential tremor made us realize the potential of this approach to localize key brain circuits mediating symptom improvement.”

    To Know More You May Refer To

    Joutsa, J., Moussawi, K., Siddiqi, S. H., Abdolahi, A., Drew, W., Cohen, A. L., Ross, T. J., Deshpande, H. U., Wang, H. Z., Bruss, J., Stein, E. A., Volkow, N. D., Grafman, J. H., van Wijngaarden, E., Boes, A. D., & Fox, M. D. (2022). Brain lesions disrupting addiction map to a common human brain circuit. Nature medicine28(6), 1249–1255. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-022-01834-y