A recent study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, Researchers have successfully used machine learning to identify neuromakers or indicators that predict how intense food or drug cravings are in nicotine, cocaine, and alcohol addicts.
Over the past few decades, researchers have observed that a strong desire to do something (known as craving) is the primary reason people engage in overeating and substance abuse. Neuroscientists have also delved into cue-triggered cravings that occur in response to any food- or drug-related stimulus. Then you can predict unhealthy diets, bad eating habits, drug use, relapses, and weight gain.
“Despite great progress in understanding substance misuse, overeating, and related phenomena, our understanding of the neural basis of craving is still incomplete, and there are many neurological targets to monitor craving and SUD and examine the efficacy of interventions. are in short supply,” the researchers wrote in their study.
“Even though we understand that certain brain regions are involved in craving and other outcomes, we still know that craving can be deciphered from the brain and that there are measurement models that are accurate enough to allow monitoring of individual people. We don’t mean it,” they added.
The authors of this study, Leonie Koban, Tor Wager, and Hedy Kober, analyzed five functional MRI studies. This included 99 of him who were shown pictures of delicious food such as pancakes stacked on top of each other, as well as pictures of drugs.
Participants were then prompted to think about both the positive and negative aspects of consuming high-calorie foods and using drugs. Each participant also rated how much they wanted the item shown in the picture. To refine the participant’s Neurobiological Craving Signature (NCS), researchers used machine learning on her MRI data to reveal activity in several brain regions. Using it, the team was able to predict whether the level of desire for all participants was high or low.
“NCS-related analyzes address scientific questions about the organization of craving-related brain systems across drugs and food (or other rewarding stimuli) and their susceptibility to cognitive, pharmacological and other interventions. can,” the authors further state in their paper.Study.
“We show that the NCS is sensitive to cognitive regulatory strategies and may be psychologically modifiable. is important, but the mechanisms underlying it are poorly understood.In addition, current interventions are associated with high recurrence rates and may be ameliorated,” they added.
The study further revealed that drug and palatable food cravings were strikingly similar in drug-using and non-drug-using adults. The participants were healthy, neither obese nor food poisoning.
“Both Western and Eastern philosophies have viewed craving as a source of suffering and unhappiness. Therefore, identifying the neurobiological underpinnings of this key driver of human behavior is an important step in mapping brain circuits to fundamental emotional and mental processes,” said the study. The person concluded.
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