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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 7018014, 10 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/7018014
Research Article

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

1Department of Neuroscience, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
2Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
3Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
4Center for Biomedical Imaging, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
5Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
6Department of Health Sciences and Research, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
7College of Social Work, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
8Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to B. Froeliger; ude.csum@egileorf

Received 23 August 2016; Accepted 29 January 2017; Published 8 March 2017

Academic Editor: Crystal Haskell-Ramsay

Copyright © 2017 B. Froeliger et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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 (; 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 () and increased positive affect (). MORE participants evidenced decreased CR-BOLD response in ventral striatum (VS; ) and ventral prefrontal cortex (vPFC; ) and increased positive ER-BOLD in VS () and vPFC (). Importantly, ER was correlated with smoking reduction (’s = .68 to .91) and increased positive affect (’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.