Physicians in China treat addictions by destroying the brain’s pleasure center




Drug addiction in China is highly stigmatized. And now, some doctors are trying to cure it with a radical procedure known as as a “stereotactic ablation.” More simply, it’s the practice of destroying parts of the brain’s “pleasure centers” (the nucleus accumbens) in heroin addicts and alcoholics as a way to stop drug cravings. At the same time, however, damage to this region could also impair a person’s ability to experience natural longings and other emotions, including joy. [& img via]




So the idea is using heat to kill cells in a targeted area of the brain, which is also used in severe cases of depression and OCD. But in the accumbens, it’s a risky surgery to consider because, “That region is saturated with neurons containing dopamine and endogenous opioids, which are involved in pleasure and desire related both to drugs and to ordinary experiences like eating, love and sex.” @maiasz over at Time Healthland details this trade off:




…21% of the patients they studied experienced memory deficits after the surgery and 18% had “weakened motivation,” including at least one report of lack of sexual desire. The authors claim, however, that “all of these patients reported that their [adverse results] were tolerable.” [via]





…because there is probably a pill for the other stuff.

Physicians in China treat addictions by destroying the brain’s pleasure center

Drug addiction in China is highly stigmatized. And now, some doctors are trying to cure it with a radical procedure known as as a “stereotactic ablation.” More simply, it’s the practice of destroying parts of the brain’s “pleasure centers” (the nucleus accumbens) in heroin addicts and alcoholics as a way to stop drug cravings. At the same time, however, damage to this region could also impair a person’s ability to experience natural longings and other emotions, including joy. [& img via]

So the idea is using heat to kill cells in a targeted area of the brain, which is also used in severe cases of depression and OCD. But in the accumbens, it’s a risky surgery to consider because, “That region is saturated with neurons containing dopamine and endogenous opioids, which are involved in pleasure and desire related both to drugs and to ordinary experiences like eating, love and sex.” @maiasz over at Time Healthland details this trade off:

…21% of the patients they studied experienced memory deficits after the surgery and 18% had “weakened motivation,” including at least one report of lack of sexual desire. The authors claim, however, that “all of these patients reported that their [adverse results] were tolerable.” [via]

…because there is probably a pill for the other stuff.

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  1. emilynicholeflynn reblogged this from dolphinsirius and added:
    So we’re going to give you more drugs for killing the part of your brain that was addicted to drugs in the first place....
  2. fuckthings reblogged this from dolphinsirius
  3. dolphinsirius reblogged this from neuroticthought
  4. acdx28 reblogged this from psydoctor8
  5. amoniker reblogged this from psydoctor8 and added:
    FUCK. The future is now…
  6. k-arvel reblogged this from psydoctor8
  7. francineeee-mc reblogged this from fuckyeahneuroscience and added:
    dystopia-esque O_O
  8. maciexvx reblogged this from fuckyeahneuroscience
  9. cogni-zance reblogged this from fuckyeahneuroscience and added:
    This post is meant to spur discussion. The proposal of surgical manipulation as a treatment strategy for psychological...
  10. jeehongmin reblogged this from psydoctor8
  11. the-robin-hood reblogged this from neuroticthought
  12. fannishtalk reblogged this from e-witness and added:
    Wow, uh, I’m assuming they aren’t destroying all of it but targeting the pathways involved in the addiction? Or...
  13. e-witness reblogged this from psydoctor8
  14. themusevillain reblogged this from psydoctor8
  15. aftertrippingonthepast reblogged this from neuroticthought
  16. skye-bella reblogged this from psydoctor8
  17. strawburry-lumps reblogged this from psydoctor8
  18. mocking-gale reblogged this from psydoctor8
  19. fearthequiescentsymmetry reblogged this from neuroticthought
  20. seriosity reblogged this from fuckyeahneuroscience
  21. polymethodic reblogged this from ajora
  22. hedoxnism reblogged this from fuckyeahneuroscience
  23. fancydancey reblogged this from otstudent and added:
    This gives me a sad feeling.
  24. ebihebi reblogged this from ajora
  25. iniqueinsomniax reblogged this from neuroticthought and added:
    Disgusting…
  26. operation-glashour-figure reblogged this from daraisnotalion
  27. daraisnotalion reblogged this from fuckyeahneuroscience
  28. otstudent reblogged this from fuckyeahneuroscience
  29. benjaminsheldan reblogged this from neuroticthought
  30. sistergrey reblogged this from fuckyeahneuroscience and added:
    that’s not a good idea, guys stop doing that, guys
  31. highlighteretcigarettes reblogged this from fuckyeahneuroscience