Brain’s ‘addiction centre’
The discovery of individuals with brain damage who give up smoking with ease could point the way to a surgical ‘cure’ for smoking, US scientists say. The particular brain area damaged – called the insula – appears to be central to the urge to smoke, a team told the journal Science.
The insula receives information from other parts of the body and is thought to help translate those signals into something that is subjectively felt, such as hunger, pain, or a craving. Dr Bechara’s team studied 69 brain-damaged smokers – 19 who had suffered insula injury.