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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Magnetic Pulses May Curb Cocaine Cravings

It seems like scientists and researchers are always developing novel techniques that may prove useful in the treatment of addiction. Our understanding of how the brain functions has given researchers insight into how they can increase one’s chance of success when it comes to recovery. A new study has found that the use of magnetic pulses could diminish one’s cravings for cocaine, NBC News reports. The small study was conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

The use of magnetic pulses was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008 for treating depression. In the recent study, the researchers found that the brain stimulation technique helped 70 percent of participants lose their cravings for cocaine, and some of the participants have managed to stay off the drug for a year without relapse, according to the article. The technique, called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), involves placing a large electromagnetic coil over the head and is noninvasive.

“They don’t crave cocaine any more. They get their lives back,” said study co-author Dr. Antonello Bonci of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “They say it feels like a black cloud has been removed from their head.”

The new study involved 32 patients who had used cocaine four times a week, and had used cocaine on average for 10 years, the article reports. The researchers treated half of the participants with TMS. The researchers found that 11 of the 16 patients treated with TMS were no longer using cocaine after three months. Among the 16 patients who were given the placebo treatment, only three did not return to cocaine use. Those given the placebo were offered TMS after the fact, of the ten who chose to do the TMS - seven of them quit using cocaine.

Bonci pointed out that the patients involved were aware as to whether they received TMS treatment or a placebo, potentially having an effect on the results. The findings were published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology.

If you or a loved one is battling cocaine addiction, please contact Whiteside Manor. We can provide a safe, comfortable, family-style living environment where our clients can be surrounded with supportive friends, exemplary role models and well-trained leadership.

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