Magnetic stimulation promotes change in brain activity, which helps people quit smoking. This was stated by the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel), as reported by BBC.
Researchers turned to the method of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is used to treat depression), to fight nicotine addiction in the brain. Experts believe that it will help people to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked or even get rid of the habit. However, there is a need for further study before recommending this method to patients.
Experts have established two magnetic fields in areas of the brain associated with nicotine addiction (the prefrontal cortex and insular cortex). 115 smokers who participated in the experiment were divided into three groups. Within 13 days the first group was treated with high-frequency TMS, the second – with the low-frequency TMS, and the third received no treatment .
It turned out that the participants in the first group had low levels of nicotine dependence, and scientists predicted that they would quit smoking by the end of the six-month study (they did not react to the photo with a lit cigarette while receiving TMS). Such a result is explained by the new therapy, which changes the brain’s response to smoking.
The research has shown that we are able to undo some changes in the brain caused by chronic smoking. TMS may be an effective treatment for nicotine addiction and prevent premature death, according to the author of the study, Abraham Zangen.
Chris Chambers from Cardiff University says they now have more evidence in favor of TMS, which is already applied in psychiatry. However, it is not necessary to stop here; they have to continue research to understand how exactly it works.
By the way, the scientists do not exclude the positive impact of TMS for the treatment of heroin addiction.
Previously, employees of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania said that TMS can help stroke patients recover speech.
Study report was presented during the Neuroscience conference.