Scientists Explore Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to Fight Addiction

  • Post author:
  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:4 min(s) read

Addiction is costly in many ways. It can cost relationships, families, jobs, and lives. The stigma of addiction can cause people not to seek help, and it seems that the stigma is international, just like the disease of addiction itself.

China has been experimenting with different solutions for addiction for years. People often go to the research doctors out of desperation. A recent article by the Associated Press detailed the desperation a man named Yan, in China, felt when over the years he became addicted to crystal meth and, eventually, heroin. His father wanted to help but was tired of watching him bounce in and out of drug rehabilitation. He gave him a choice between another trip to drug rehabilitation, or to try Deep Brain Stimulation surgery. “Of course, I chose surgery,” Yan said. “With surgery, I definitely have the chance to get my life back.”

China’s Research into DBS

Continue Reading Scientists Explore Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to Fight Addiction

Tainted Cocaine Causing Brain Damage

  • Post author:
  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:2 min(s) read

A dangerous new substance that’s used as an anti-worming agent has been found in recent cocaine samples taken by Swiss researchers, according to a report by Big Think.

Cocaine is the second-most popular drug worldwide, and it’s almost always “cut” with another drug or substance so that the drug is more profitable. In some cases, medications like fentanyl are added to cocaine to make it more addictive – but it’s also more dangerous. Usually, it’s baking soda or ammonia that’s added with the simple goal of thinning out the drug content.

Now, however, two studies from the University of Zurich (UZH) discovered that levamisole, a powerful animal anti-worming agent, has been turning up in the cocaine supply. Scientists speculate that it is being used by chemists to make the effects of cocaine last longer.

It’s also possible that it’s leaving brain damage in regular cocaine users. The long-term effects …

Continue Reading Tainted Cocaine Causing Brain Damage

Using Science to Fight Addiction

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Uncategorized
  • Reading time:3 min(s) read

According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 21 million Americans currently need treatment for a substance abuse disorder. Ninety percent of them will not receive treatment; many will end up incarcerated because of crimes related to their addiction.

Since that report was released, an increasing number of doctors and scientists are calling for more recognition of addiction as a brain disorder. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of Drug Control Policy and the leading drug authority in the government, spoke out against current perceptions of addiction in a speech delivered at the Betty Ford Center. Kerlikowske characterized addiction as a “chronic disease of the brain” rather than a moral failing on the part of the individual.…

Continue Reading Using Science to Fight Addiction

Study Finds Brain Differences in Internet Addicts are Similar to Alcoholics

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Uncategorized
  • Reading time:3 min(s) read

According to a recent study, addiction to the Internet might cause the same changes to the brain that occur with alcoholism and cocaine addiction.

The study involved 17 Chinese teenagers who were given MRI brain scans.  The results of the study, which were published in the journal PLoS One, found that teens who were self-described Internet addicts had abnormal amounts of “white matter” surrounding the wiring between some neurons in the brain.  The teenagers with brain abnormalities admitted to being preoccupied with the Internet and to being unable to control their use of the Internet.  They also said they felt depressed, restless and irritable when they tried cut down on their use.

According to Jonathan Wallis, associate professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley, the areas of the brain that the study pinpointed are known to be involved with compulsive behavior and addiction.  Gordon Harris, a professor of radiology …

Continue Reading Study Finds Brain Differences in Internet Addicts are Similar to Alcoholics