Addiction responsible for impulsive thinking

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London, Jan 1 (UNI) Blame your neural activity if you tend to reach conclusions too early without weighing pros and cons and make random decisions.

In a study published in Science Daily, brain activity of sober alcoholics and non-addicted people making financial decisions were compared. The group of sober alcoholics showed significantly more ''impulsive'' neural activity.

Researchers identified brain sites that fire up more when people make impulsive decisions.

It was discovered that a specific gene mutation boosted activity in these brain regions when people made impulsive choices. The newly found link involving the gene, impulsive behavior and brain activity suggested that raising dopamine levels may be an effective treatment for addiction.

Cognitive difference in people with addictions was possible as their brains might not fully process the long-term consequences of their choices, Lead scientist Charlotte Boettiger said, adding that they might compute information less efficiently.

The findings raise the possibility that treatments aimed at raising dopamine levels could be effective treatments for some individuals with addictive disorders.

The scientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging(fMRI) to image brain activity while subjects were faced with a hypothetical scenario such as ''choose less money now, or more money later''.

Sober alcoholics chose the ''now'' reward almost three times more often than the control group, reflecting more impulsive behavior.

The data identifed subtypes of alcoholics, which could help tailor treatments, and provide earlier intervention for people who were at risk for developing addictions.

The study provided more evidence that addiction is a disease, triggered by the choices people make.

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