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Addiction


— Health and Wellbeing

Nicotine-gobbling enzyme could help smokers quit

By - August 6, 2015

Nicotine replacement therapy, such as pills, gum and patches, can make the road to quitting smoking a little less rocky, but these aren't always effective and a tremendous amount of discipline still plays the major role. A team of US-based researchers has now uncovered an enzyme found in nature they say could greatly improve on the effectiveness of smoking cessation aids, by devouring nicotine in smokers before it can deliver its "reward" to the brain.

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— Health and Wellbeing

New therapy to help addicts put memories of meth use behind them

By - August 5, 2015

Even after a lengthy period of abstinence, putting lingering memories of methamphetamine use to rest is a difficult and often impossible task for former users. Therapies are available to help people stay clean, but for many the lure remains irresistible with incredibly high relapse rates of more than 90 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. But a research team is hoping to help addicts stay away from the devastating drug for good by developing a way to safely erase drug-associated memories.

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— Health and Wellbeing

Researchers find different pathways responsible for sugar addiction and healthy eating

By - February 3, 2015
Many who have tried to kick the sweet white crystals will tell you that "sugar addiction" is very real, and there are indeed neurological underpinnings that back them up. MIT researchers have now discovered that the pathways of the brain responsible for sugar addiction may differ from those which govern drug addiction and healthy eating, which could be a boon for studies and treatment of compulsive eating and obesity. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

New nicotine vaccine may succeed at treating smoking addiction, where others have failed

By - January 22, 2015
If you're a smoker who's trying to quit, you may recall hearing about vaccines designed to cause the body's immune system to treat nicotine like a foreign invader, producing antibodies that trap and remove it before it's able to reach receptors in the brain. It's a fascinating idea, but according to scientists at California's Scripps Research Institute, a recent high-profile attempt had a major flaw. They claim to have overcome that problem, and are now developing a vaccine of their own that they believe should be more effective. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Wearable electronic device could help smokers kick the habit

By - June 17, 2014 2 Pictures
Kicking the cigarette habit is no picnic. It’s a full-on resistance effort against an overwhelming craving. That’s why smokers sometimes need more than will power alone to quit. Now a new device has been developed to add extra ammunition to the fight in the form of the SmartStop, an electronic wearable from U.S.-based Chrono Therapeutics that takes nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to a new level and adds behavioral support, thanks to the possibilities of digital, wireless technology. Read More
— Computers

Pavlov Poke presents a shocking answer to Facebook addiction

By - August 27, 2013 4 Pictures
Sometimes Facebook can be a bit like a timewarp. You open it to take a quick peek and before you know it, the better part of the day is gone by. MIT PhD students Robert R. Morris and Dan McDuff decided that they’d like to spend less time with social media and more writing their dissertations, so they came up with Pavlov Poke. As the name implies, it’s a sort of aversion therapy device for weaning off of Facebook that gives you electric shocks if you've lingered too long. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Zapping away cocaine addiction with laser light

By - April 5, 2013 2 Pictures
Like so many other illicit drugs, cocaine can be extremely, destructively addictive. Recent research suggests, however, that ridding people of such addictions may be as simple as zapping them on them scalp. In a study conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at UC San Francisco, scientists were able to turn cocaine addiction on and off in rats via pulses of laser light to their brains. Read More
— Games

New tests developed for the addictive potential of computer games

By - February 13, 2013 2 Pictures
Have you ever felt that one computer game is more "addictive" than another? Leaving definitions aside for the moment, it's fair to say that an addictive computer game is likely to be a more successful product than a game that is merely fun to play. Gaming developers apply numerous techniques and tests in an attempt to evaluate which games will hit the right buttons. Now researchers at Academia Sinica and the National Taiwan University (ASNTU) have developed a direct test for the addictiveness of a computer game based on physiological responses of a group of new players. Read More
— Science

Researchers find way to suppress certain types of memories

By - December 5, 2012
We’re all carrying around some cringe-inducing memories that we’d rather forget. But for those suffering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), recalling certain memories can provoke fearful, emotional experiences. By the same token, some memories can remind those battling drug addiction of the rewarding effects of the drug and trigger a relapse. Researchers at Canada’s Western University have found a way to effectively block these types of memories that could lead to better treatments for both conditions. Read More
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