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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ready to quit smoking? MRI scan shown to predict success rate

This is another report about smoking that's quite interesting.  It reveals that brain scans can detect which smokers are most likely to quit smoking.  Not only that, the study reveals that the scans do a better job of predicting who will quit than the smokers themselves.

Twenty eight smokers were followed who wanted to quit, and they were showed a series of ads designed to help people quit smoking and their brains were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The results showed an association between activity in a certain region of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex and successfully quitting smoking , even when test subjects erroneously predict the likelihood of their success.

The study showed that activity in the medial prefrontal lobe was linked to a reduction in smoking after a month.  So even if people believed they couldn't quit smoking, they were not in tune with this brain activity.  If the brain activity was present, the likelihood that they'd succeed at quitting was increased.

So perhaps some day an MRI might be scheduled for those who are trying to quit smoking.  The images might be successful in determining the types of efforts needed to get people to quit smoking, and might explain why some people have a harder time quitting than others.

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