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Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the Superior Frontal Gyrus Modulates Craving for Cigarettes

November 2, 2011 Comments off

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the Superior Frontal Gyrus Modulates Craving for Cigarettes
Source: Biological Psychiatry

Background
Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown strong correlations between cue-elicited craving for cigarettes and activation of the superior frontal gyrus (SFG). Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) offers a noninvasive means to reversibly affect brain cortical activity, which can be applied to testing hypotheses about the causal role of SFG in modulating craving.

Methods
Fifteen volunteer smokers were recruited to investigate the effects of rTMS on subjective responses to smoking versus neutral cues and to controlled presentations of cigarette smoke. On different days, participants were exposed to three conditions: 1) high-frequency (10 Hz) rTMS directed at the SFG; 2) low-frequency (1 Hz) rTMS directed at the SFG; and 3) low-frequency (1 Hz) rTMS directed at the motor cortex (control condition).

Results
Craving ratings in response to smoking versus neutral cues were differentially affected by the 10-Hz versus 1-Hz SFG condition. Craving after smoking cue presentations was elevated in the 10-Hz SFG condition, whereas craving after neutral cue presentations was reduced. Upon smoking in the 10-Hz SFG condition, ratings of immediate craving reduction as well as the intensity of interoceptive airway sensations were also attenuated.

Conclusions
These results support the view that the SFG plays a role in modulating craving reactivity; moreover, the results suggest that the SFG plays a role in both excitatory and inhibitory influences on craving, consistent with prior research demonstrating the role of the prefrontal cortex in the elicitation as well as inhibition of drug-seeking behaviors.

See: Influencing Craving for Cigarettes by Stimulating the Brain (Science Daily)

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