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Radiosurgery for addictive behavior

  [vote for,

bungston, Mar 19 2010

Stroke damaging insula stops nicotine addiction http://www.bioedonl...s/news.cfm?art=2660
[bungston, Mar 19 2010]

Radiosurgery for epilepsy http://professional...y_radiosurgery.html
[bungston, Mar 19 2010]

Radio surgery http://www.lakeland...s/repair-center.jpg
[normzone, Mar 19 2010]

Modern psychosurgery for impulse control disorders http://clinicaltria...cv_e=&lup_s=&lup_e=
[mouseposture, Mar 20 2010]

"zapping" the brain for addiction http://clinicaltria...on&intr=stimulation
[mouseposture, Mar 20 2010]

relation of the above to insula http://clinicaltria...=Stimulation&rank=1
[mouseposture, Mar 20 2010]


       I was thinking of this scheme again after reading recent posts related to pharmacologic treatments for compulsive molesters.   

       There was an interesting report some years ago of patient who lost their urge to smoke after a stroke that damaged a specific area in the brain. Smoking is widespread and smoking addiction can be discussed openly. But maybe other addictive / compulsive behaviors that or more dangers (eg gambling, molesting) have their basis in the same area of the brain.   

       Strokes are messy but radiosurgery is clean. It can be used to treat epilepsy once the focal area responsible for seizures is identified (link).   

       I propose that a study could be done to see if radiosurgery might be used to stop smoking. Such a study should probably be done with people who have metastatic lung cancer and already have brain metastases, as they will already be getting therapeutic radiosurgery, have a limited life expectancy and might be motivated to participate in research aimed and helping other smokers avoid their fate.   

       If the principle is sound and it can be done safely as with epilepsy, then in addition to smokers this approach could be tried with compulsive gamblers - a more damaging habit than smoking and one which the afflicted person might be interesting in undertaking extreme measures. Some molesters might also fall into this category.
bungston, Mar 19 2010

       I've thought about this in connection with ibogaine, which is reputed to have a similar effect, and i would think that the problem would be the physiological function of the mechanism which leads to addiction. What would happen if you could not become addicted? Would it have other adverse consequences?
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2010

       Ibogaine always reminds me of Fear and Loathing in La Vegas, where Thompson tastes a matchstick dipped in Ibogaine, becomes paralyzed, and ask his friend to help him by rolling him into the pool.   

       There was no mention of whether the stroke folks went thru "nic fits" as I think they must have. Maybe the nic fit was lost in the general aftermath of the stroke.
bungston, Mar 19 2010

       Maybe they were unconscious at the time.   

       I've only seen the early part of the film of 'Fear And Loathing' and i've not read the book.   

       Back to the stroke: what other deficits did they suffer?
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2010

       19th: you should read the book. It is a masterpiece.
bungston, Mar 19 2010

       Yes, i'm sure it's good but i'm currently reading [Jinbish]'s recommendation. I'll put it on the to-do list.
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2010

       I think they tried lobotomy and trepanning to stop masturbation. Nice to see you following in the same proud tradition.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 19 2010

       [bungston] Psychosurgery for impulse control disorders has actually reached the clinical trials stage <link>. "Zapping" patients' brains for treatment of nicotine addiction is also pretty far along <link>. The latter might actually work by an effect on the insula <link>. It wouldn't surprise me if someone proposed to electrically stimulate the insula, but the geometry of that structure is unfavorable for that technique, and there are other, more attractive targets. The idea of lesioning the insula would have sounded good to Egas Moniz, but in 2010 I doubt anybody'd have the chutzpa to try it.
mouseposture, Mar 20 2010


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