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The quitting of smoking is hampered by the characteristics of the brain

15 December 2014, 09:00

It is known that some people quit smoking more heavily than others. In Pennsylvania, the specialists decided to understand what the reason for this difference was and used a functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the neural activity of the brain. For a new research project, scientists selected 80 volunteers who tried to abandon the addiction. The age of participants in the experiment was from 18 to 65 years.

Each of the participants in the past six months smoked at least 10 cigarettes every day.

The first functional tomography was made to the participants immediately after the last smoked cigarette, and the second session was 24 hours after. Further, experts observed the behavior of the participants in the experiment. During the first seven days, most of the participants had a breakdown, and they again began to smoke.

The hardest thing to keep oneself in hand was to those participants who had decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex (the area of the brain that is responsible for working memory). Also in this category of people, experts noted activity in the back of the cingulate gyrus (a part of the brain that is not associated with achieving the goal).

Scientists noted that the prefrontal cortex is important when trying to cope with the addiction to cigarettes and in the plans of researchers to develop ways that will help increase the activity of neurons in this area of the brain. But experts also noted that the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging for predictions of how a person who tries to quit smoking behaves is economically unprofitable.

Scientists are sure that those who quit smoking should follow certain rules, otherwise, all attempts to abandon the bad habit will be unsuccessful.

Experts believe that during quitting, a person should develop a reward system for himself, and start with a small one. For example, a day spent without a single cigarette, gives the right to a small gift. It should be strictly followed the plan to reduce the number of cigarettes per day, it is best to write a plan on paper and place in a prominent place.

Also, experts advise not to quit smoking alone, but to connect to this process relatives, friends, friends. You should inform everyone in your community of your desire to give up your bad habit and ask for support.

First of all, you need to determine the day from which you no longer smoke.

To overcome the desire to smoke can be with the help of sweets (without sugar) or chewing gum, also carrots, nuts, fruit or other useful products will help to distract.

In order to avoid a breakdown, and all attempts are not in vain, experts recommend registering on a thematic forum or joining a group where people who quit smoking communicate and who can understand problems and give advice.

Also, during quitting, you should start attending the gym, do yoga, which will help to relax and relieve anxiety.

Last update: 31.05.2018
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Medical expert editor

Portnov Alexey Alexandrovich

Education: Kiev National Medical University. A.A. Bogomolets, Specialty - "General Medicine"

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