June 15, 2022 – In particular, lesions positively connected to the cingulate and insula and negatively connected to the medial prefrontal cortex were more likely to be associated with smoking remission in patients. Conversely, legions with opposite connectivity profiles were the least likely to lead to remission. 

To determine the generalizability of their findings, the researchers also examined 186 patients with brain lesions who had completed an alcoholism risk assessment. They found that lesions associated with lower alcoholism risk had similar connectivity to lesions that disrupted nicotine addiction in the first group of patients, even after controlling for smoking status—suggesting that this particular brain circuit may be the underlying basis of many addictive behaviors. According to the New York Times, some independent experts said the study’s findings were “an unusually powerful demonstration of the brain’s role in substance use disorders.” 


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