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Could an MRI "See" If You Will Become a Habitual Smoker?

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by kevinkimers, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. kevinkimers

    kevinkimers Community Champion

    In Australia they are conducting a study over a 5 year period to see if there is a way to predetermine if you will become a habitual smoker through MRI. Author Paul Gaita reports "The tests are the second stage of a study conducted by Associate Professor Rob Hester and his team, which will follow 144 individuals with varying degrees of nicotine use—occasional users, those who would qualify as dependent on the drug, and non-users—for the next five years to see if there are differences at the neural level that could indicate whether a person could be “predestined” for addiction. The subjects will be placed in a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine and asked to complete tasks that will determine their ability to deliberately stop and start behaviors, such as pushing a button until asked to stop".

    Here's a link to the whole article
  2. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    Yeah, I've seen a movie few years ago about this kind of analysis. I can't exactly remember the name, but they could determine before someone was born if they have higher chance of getting addicted to something, like alcohol or cigarettes, and the cool fact was that they could predetermine and change this facts. I believe this kind of things exists based on my daily experience, a lot of smokers I know, have some of their relatives (like mother or grandmother) who smoked, so I assume that this is a gene that can be preserved or not, and this can give you a higher risk of becoming addicted at some point. However a gene don't predetermine what you will do, it's always your choice, even if it's harder for you to fight your addiction as it is in your blood than someone who doesn't have it in their blood, it's still your choice!
  3. hollysheats

    hollysheats Member

    I think that the people who do smoke are predisposition-ed to smoke. When a mother smokes while pregnant her baby gets addicted to the nicotine. When the child grows up I think that they have a higher need to smoke than others whose mothers did not smoke while they were pregnant. I think it may genetic as well.
  4. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Interesting but the study does't really make any sense to me. Users, non-users, and occasional users. Studying their brain activity. It might be better to give them IQ tests. Lol I mean really. I'm thinking they are looking for something other than what they are saying with this study. More like why does someone not smoke.
    Lets see let me think. Have I met intelligent smokers? Someone's rationality and intelligence must be compromised in some way when they take something like this up. Keep going with it knowing what it does. I don't think it is really about predestination, although it is what a study like this is implying. Its almost like a suggestive sell to say, "we can study your brain to know if you are going to be addicted to smoking" "oh look yeah you are. you need this drug." Or suggesting that they are predisposed to do it. Next thing you know they are buying cigarettes. There are a ton of holes in this theory.
  5. MichelleVL

    MichelleVL Senior Contributor

    Woe dude! That is so cool! I hope that the Australian scientists are successful in this study! The results could be ground breaking and if they develop ways in which to commercialize these tests in an affordable way, the testing can be performed on people at an early age. Hopefully when people acquire their test results they can take the necessary measures or make wise life decisions in order to avoid dealing with nicotine addiction and hopefully other forms of addiction.
  6. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    There are things that you just cannot figure out this way.
    I like the idea and I hope they keep up the research, but remember you cannot scan the soul.
  7. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    Scientist have come up with all kinds of ways to predict peoples behavior. The one thing they can't predict is the human will. I person could be addicted to something at one time and kick the habit later. People can evolve and change there behavior patterns. I think these studies can predict likely hood, but they can never reach a conclusion.
  8. Ali16

    Ali16 Senior Contributor

    I'm very skeptical as well about these type of tests predicting a for sure conclusion. I think they have a little bit of proof for a predisposition but they can't factor in things like environment and free will. If an MRI showed I was more predisposed to smoke, I wouldn't put much faith in it.
  9. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    It is an interesting study and it will be a nice thing to read an update about it. I think I would agree in the idea that those who are born with addicted parents will have higher tendency of being addicted too.It is since they are exposed to the substances.
  10. JakeLamotta

    JakeLamotta Active Contributor

    I don't think that this makes sense at all. You could somehow gauge the level of addiction once a person gets addicted but what you cannot judge through any experiment is the person's resolve to keep away from affliction of smoking. So judging through an MRI if a person would become a habitual smoker is like judging his character too.
  11. 111kg

    111kg Community Champion

    Rather then spending tens of thousands of dollars making such an experiment, they'd better invest it in an educational programs where children and students are educated about the real dangers of smoking. It would honestly bring more advantagea.