RUSH: Have you seen the latest story on smoking and how to maybe cure it or curb it? “Damage to a silver dollar-size spot deep in the brain seems to wipe out the urge to smoke, a surprising discovery that may shed important new light on addiction. The research was inspired by a stroke survivor who claimed he simply forgot his two-pack-a-day [habit] ? no cravings, no nicotine patches, not even a conscious desire to quit. ‘The quitting is like a light switch that went off,’ said Dr. Antoine Bechara of the University of Southern California, who scanned the brains of 69 smokers and ex-smokers to pinpoint the region involved. ‘This is very striking.'” So brain damage can ease smoking cravings according to the this study. What are the odds that people are going to be going into the hospital now and wanting lobotomies? They’re going to be going into the hospital and asking doctors to inflict brain damage so that they forget that they have a smoking habit? I think there probably is something to this.
You know, folks, for all of the talk and for all of the appreciation we have for our abilities as human beings, and all of the discussions that we engage in regarding free will and discipline and this kind of thing, the brain is an amazing thing. When I read research about how the hypothalamus, for example, is where the appetite control center is, and some people’s hypothalamus is hyperactive, some not at all, various brain chemicals, pathways, neurons that fire and don’t fire. In a lot of ways we are — I wouldn’t say prisoners, but we are — prisoners to the way things happen in our brains, over which we really don’t have any control other than to lobotomize those parts of the brain that are causing us problems. Everything from weight control to any other kinds of addiction is subject to brain chemistry, and it’s different from person to person to person. So there may be something to this.
When I hear somebody say that after a stroke, part of the brain died and I don’t have a desire to smoke anymore — maybe certain addiction receptors in the brain are dead. It would make total sense. I’ve often thought about this in terms of weight loss. You know, the people that have a tendency to be overweight do eat more. There’s no question. Most of them don’t think they do, but they do. People that don’t — and there’s difference in appetites, and that probably is a brain function more than it is discipline. It’s hard for me to believe, for example, that every person who is skinny or thin or reasonably in shape, not every one of them is practicing day to day discipline. Some of them just don’t care about food as much, and they get full quicker and so forth. Food to them is a fuel, and nothing else. These kinds of things do intrigue me just from the standpoint of “creation,” if I may put it in such a way. Nevertheless, people will laugh about this. There probably is something to it.