The University of Cambridge has come out with some very interesting research findings about addiction and the structure of our brains. An abnormality present in the fronto-striatal systems may be responsible for addiction in some people.
The study compared two siblings. one was an addict and the other was not. Scientists found the same anomaly in both, suggesting it’s genetic. Next their brains were compared to participants with no history of addiction. There was no anomaly. Essentially the anomaly is an enlarged section of the fronto-striatal systems. This area is associated with controlling ones behavior.
Dr. Karen Ersche of the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (BCNI) at the University of Cambridge comments on the findings:
“Parts of their brains’ underlying self-control abilities work less efficiently. The use of addictive drugs, such as cocaine, further exacerbates this problem, paving the way for addiction to develop from occasional use.”
“While we still have more work to do to fully address the reasons why some family members show a greater resilience against addiction, our results will provide the scientific basis for the development of more effective preventative and therapeutic strategies for people at risk of addiction,”
Perhaps these findings can be used to prevent or treat addiction in the future.