Restructuring Reward Mechanisms in Nicotine Addiction: A Pilot fMRI Study of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement for Cigarette Smokers

B. Froeliger*, A. R. Mathew, P. A. Mcconnell, C. Eichberg, M. E. Saladin, M. J. Carpenter, E. L. Garland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

The primary goal of this pilot feasibility study was to examine the effects of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), a behavioral treatment grounded in dual-process models derived from cognitive science, on frontostriatal reward processes among cigarette smokers. Healthy adult (N=13; mean (SD) age 49 ± 12.2) smokers provided informed consent to participate in a 10-week study testing MORE versus a comparison group (CG). All participants underwent two fMRI scans: pre-tx and after 8-weeks of MORE. Emotion regulation (ER), smoking cue reactivity (CR), and resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) were assessed at each fMRI visit; smoking and mood were assessed throughout. As compared to the CG, MORE significantly reduced smoking (d=2.06) and increased positive affect (d=2.02). MORE participants evidenced decreased CR-BOLD response in ventral striatum (VS; d=1.57) and ventral prefrontal cortex (vPFC; d=1.7) and increased positive ER-BOLD in VS (dVS=2.13) and vPFC (dvmPFC=2.66). Importantly, ER was correlated with smoking reduction (r's =.68 to.91) and increased positive affect (r's =.52 to.61). These findings provide preliminary evidence that MORE may facilitate the restructuring of reward processes and play a role in treating the pathophysiology of nicotine addiction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7018014
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume2017
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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