Im­plant ‘curbs crav­ings’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

LONDON: Giv­ing up al­co­hol or smok­ing could soon be much eas­ier – by us­ing a brain im­plant which stops crav­ings.

Sci­en­tists are tri­alling a pi­o­neer­ing tech­nique which in­volves im­plant­ing a tiny pro­gram­mable de­vice into the brain.

The im­plant tar­gets the part of the brain re­spon­si­ble for con­trol­ling crav­ings and also helps to re­duce lev­els of stress, which can worsen ad­dic­tions.

It uses cut­ting-edge neuro-stim­u­la­tors de­signed to en­able sci­en­tists to “talk” to the brain through elec­tri­cal stim­u­la­tion.

Neu­ro­sur­geon Dirk De Rid­der, of the Univer­sity of Otago in New Zealand, in­serted im­plants into the brains of six al­co­holic pa­tients.

Since surgery, none of the pa­tients has abused al­co­hol and two had also given up smok­ing.

The re­sults sug­gest the im­plant could also help with ob­ses­sive com­pul­sive dis­or­der, which is con­trolled by the same part of the brain as ad­dic­tions. – Daily Mail

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