Effect of acupuncture on selective attention for smoking-related visual cues in smokers.
Neurol Res. 2010 Feb;32 Suppl 1:27-30. PMID: 20034441
OBJECTIVES: Cue reactivity is a key factor that modulates motivational goal directed behavior associated with compulsive drug intake and relapse. We investigated the effect of acupuncture on the selective attention to smoking-related visual cues in smokers, as an index of the severity of drug dependence. METHODS: Twenty-nine smokers received real acupuncture (n=15) or sham acupuncture (n=14) to the acupuncture point HT7 (Sinmun) for 2 consecutive days after quitting smoking. A visual probe task was used to measure the attentional bias using neutral or smoking visual cues after the second acupuncture stimulation. The cigarette withdrawal scale was also measured on the same day. RESULTS: The real acupuncture group showed markedly attenuated attentional bias towards smoking cues. The real acupuncture group exhibited significant decrease in withdrawal symptoms compared to the sham acupuncture group. The attentional bias revealed a significant positive correlation with the smoking withdrawal symptoms (r=0.430, p<0.05). DISCUSSION: Acupuncture treatment ameliorated the smoking withdrawal symptoms as well as the selective attention to smoking-related visual cues in smokers. The selective attention to smoking cues was associated with the degree of the cigarette withdrawal symptoms.