• STV
  • MySTV

Smokers' brains 'make them more likely to pick up habit'

Edinburgh University experts found some behaviours are linked with certain parts of the mind.

Study: 'Important step toward understanding the molecular basis of human thought.'
Study: 'Important step toward understanding the molecular basis of human thought.' Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images

Smokers' brains may be made up in a way that makes them more likely to pick up the habit, according to new research.

The finding comes from a new study that helps explain why some behaviours are linked with particular areas of the mind.

Experts at Edinburgh University analysed molecules produced at connection points between nerve cells - called synapses - which are key to sending messages around the brain.

The team found patterns varied between different areas and were able to categorise them into different functions.

Using their new map, the scientists were able to investigate where genes linked to smoking have their influence.

The findings pinpointed the same region that has previously been identified in brain imaging studies.

Professor Seth Grant, of the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the university, who led the study, said: "This is an important step toward understanding the molecular basis of human thought."

'This innovative study enriches our understanding of the human brain.'
Dr Kate Adcock

The work was based on post-mortem brain tissue samples from healthy people held in the Medical Research Council's (MRC) Edinburgh Brain Bank.

Scientists from the study claim their findings provide a "powerful tool" for investigating how diseases affect different parts of the brain, with all of their data made available to facilitate such research.

Dr Kate Adcock, MRC head of neurosciences and mental health, said: "This innovative study enriches our understanding of the human brain through its use of samples from the Medical Research Council's Edinburgh Brain Bank.

"The information that Professor Grant and his team has generated provide an excellent opportunity for researchers to gain further insight into how the brain works."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.