Non-invasive brain stimulation could help quit smoking

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have concluded that stimulating certain areas of the brain with weak electrical currents can help smokers quit smoking.

Such therapy seems too radical. But not everything is so scary

Recently, non-invasive brain stimulation treatment with electrodes that pass a low-intensity current through the scalp and send pulses to the brain has been seen as a new treatment option for disorders such as alcohol, tobacco, and substance abuse.

In 2020, the US approved the use of non-invasive brain stimulation for short-term smoking cessation after a study of 262 smokers found the treatment helped people quit smoking for up to four weeks.

In a new study published in the journal Addiction , researchers conducted a systematic review of all randomized controlled trials using the technique to see if it could help break the habit for longer.

What did the review show?

The review included seven studies with a total of 699 participants. In all studies, participants in the control group received simulated brain stimulation.

The results showed that smokers who received therapy were 2.39 times more likely to “quit” smoking for a long time (three to six months) than those who received sham therapy.

“Although our review appears modest, with only seven included studies, low levels of certainty, and significant inter-study variability, the results appear to be robust and we can safely assume that non-invasive brain stimulation is of interest for both short-term and sustainable smoking cessation. “, the researchers conclude.

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