Are you struggling with any kind of addiction? This could mean anything from obsessive Internet use to shopping or alcohol abuse to cigarette smoking. If you or a loved one have any kind of impulse control issues, you might enjoy reading today`s guest article by Sara!
In the field of neurological disorders, bad eating habits and addiction are still subjects of ferocious research. A study conducted in 2011 concluded that deep brain stimulation could be used as a cure for such impulses. Promising results have been seen in subjects who are suffering from ‘self-control’ disorders and nervous system complications such as Parkinson’s.
The subjects were stimulated using a neurostimulator, a device which is like a heart pacemaker for the brain and central nervous system. The electrical stimulation controls electrical signals in the brain, thereby containing urges.
Proactive Vs Reactive approach
In order to realize a holistic approach, cellular activity should be taken into account. While all of us share the same molecular DNA, there are different mutations within our genetic material leading to different responses.
When it comes to detox strategies, physicians may opt for inhibitors such as selective serotonin reuptake (SSRIs). However, such methods do not work for every individual. A recent study conducted at the Tel Aviv University revealed a new finding related to a genetic test for SSRI antidepressants. This test would let doctors know whether the approach they are using is viable or not.
The model that has been described above is termed as a proactive approach. Using genetic markers, doctors can predict if a patient will react adversely to a certain treatment, thereby saving them from the inflammatory reaction arising from a wrongly prescribed drug.
The traditional model is that of a reactive approach, which may be error prone because of its trial and error nature. In this case, the doctor prescribes a drug based on subjective assessment. If it doesn’t work, a second therapy is used. In terms of quality care, this is a waste of not only the patient’s health, but also the money spent on treatment. Tools for drug screening are important in this regard because they allow professionals to accurately manage medication therapy.
Self-control and electrical brain stimulation
Most patients are encouraged to eat fruits, antioxidants and natural cleansers that strengthen the immune system. A more direct route is to exploit the ‘braking’ mechanism within the brain to reduce impulses for ingesting harmful substances.
The procedure for deep brain stimulation involves electrodes being placed in the brain. Just a few months back, researchers at the University of Texas (Health Science Center at Houston) in collaboration with researchers at the University of California, San Diego, used the technique and refined it to produce a reformed type of self-control.
The method of deep brain stimulation exploits the fact that the brain controls the biochemistry function of the body, which inherently lead to negative behaviors. There are specific regions in the brain, such as the pre-frontal cortex, which influence behavior more than other regions. This method is a better form of stimulation since it produces an enhanced pre-frontal function instead of diminishing the activity of the brain. The cortical region of the brain helps in controlling impulses.
The impact of the University of Texas study has positive implications for people who routinely take drugs because of certain conditions. Certain drugs, such as steroids, have a higher addiction rates and routine methods of detox are not sufficient enough. Deep brain stimulation is an ideal method in such cases.
Deep brain stimulation has the potential to harness the inhibitory behavior of the brain and use it for the patient’s own benefit. It remains to be seen how popular the approach becomes among the general public in the next few years.
About the Author
Sara is a freelance writer who most often writes about business and health. In her spare time, she enjoys maintaining a healthy lifestyle through swimming and practicing yoga.
What do you think of the possibility that any kind of addiction could be cured by electrical impulses to the brain?