Caryn Lerman, NPR, Smokers' Brains
The rapidly advancing technology of brain scans is changing the way physicians predict how likely it is that a long-time smoker will succeed or fail on a tobacco cessation regimen, said Penn Medicine Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry Caryn Lerman in an NPR interview.
"We were interested to see whether incorporating information from brain scans improved our ability to make those predictions," she said. Her research team found that measuring activity in the area of the prefrontal cortex accurately predicted which smokers would succeed or fail more than 80 percent of the time.
She said she and her colleagues are moving away from the traditional interviews and questionnaires to predict patient behavior in favor of the brain scans that have proven much more effective.