31 Jan '11, 5am

Brain scan can tell if a smoker will quit

WASHINGTON : US researchers have found a way to predict how successful a smoker will be at quitting by using an MRI scan to look for activity in a region of the brain associated with behaviour change. The scans were performed on 28 heavy smokers who had joined an anti-smoking programme, according to the study published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal Health Psychology. Participants were asked to watch a series of commercials about quitting smoking while a magnetic resonance imaging machine scanned their brains for activity. After each ad, subjects in the study "rated how it affected their intention to quit, whether it increased their confidence about quitting, and how much they related to the message," researchers explained. Those who showed activity in the medial prefrontal cortex during the ads were "significantly linked to reductions in smoking behaviour" in the mon...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/health/view/110797...

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