Friday, May 5, 2017

How to Stop Smoking Easily

There is an easy way to stop smoking, but you have to be lucky to get it. This is because patients accidentally lost the urge to smoke. Doctors have yet to find out how to make this happen intentionally.
According to a New York Times Article, patients who were observed to have had damage to the insula, a part of the brain so small you can carry it in one hand, instantly lost the craving to smoke. The challenge now is to learn how to modify the insula without damaging it. 
Neuroscientists say the insula was a part of the brain that was neglected for a long time, for two reasons:
1. It is folded up and resides deep in the brain, so much so that scientists cannot reach it with electrodes (scientists used electrodes to study the brain before the invention of the fMRI or functional magnetic resonance imaging). With the fMRI, doctors could watch the insula in action. 
2. The insula was considered in the past to be part of the primitive portion of the brain, which resulted in neglect of further study of it.

Dr. Martin Paulus, psychiatrist, UC San Diego, California, said the insula lights up in brain scans when people crave drugs, empathize with others, anticipates pain, listens to jokes, or are shunned in social gatherings, among others. It is the part of the brain that responds to music, shopping, eating chocolate, deciding to report someone who has committed a crime.
Dr. Paulus says the insula has provided tremendous insight into the study of human emotions. It is also the place where the mind and body integrate. If it is damaged,  a patient may experience apathy, and the inability to discern fresh from rotten food. Because of these many functions, it will not be easy to learn how to tap off that part of the insula that pertains to the urge to smoke.
If there were a way, would you be amenable to having your insula tweaked so that you can immediately lose the urge to smoke?
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