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Controversial Surgery for Addiction Burns Away Brain’s Pleasure Center

Controversial Surgery for Addiction Burns Away Brain’s Pleasure Center

Controversial Surgery for Addiction Burns Away Brain’s Pleasure Center
The subject is Controversial Surgery for Addiction Burns Away Brain’s Pleasure Center
Using a combination of popular media reports and empirical references, research BOTH sides of the topic to present a balanced, comprehensive overview of the relevant issues influencing the controversy. You must locate a minimum of 5 references in support of each side of the debate. Write a short synopsis of the arguments (about 500 words)
Controversial Surgery for Addiction Burns Away Brain’s Pleasure CenterANSWER

Controversial Surgery for Addiction Burns Away Brain’s Pleasure Center

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Controversial Surgery for Addiction Burns Away Brain’s Pleasure Center
The controversial surgery Ablation of the nucleus accumbens involves the burning away part of the brain’s pleasure centers. The medical intervention targets the brain area that produces dopamine and endogenous endorphins (Recovery First Treatment Center, 2019). The rationale for the Nucleus Accumbens Ablation intensive brain surgery was to be used as a surgical treatment that aims to correct parts of the brain involved in obsessive or addictive behavior (Brice, 2012). The surgical practice was widely practiced in China to treat addiction and other associated mental disorders. Due to the shortage of evidence regarding the long-term consequences of the surgery among the growing criticisms in major healthcare organizations in the western regions, the practice was banned in 2004, leaving a few institutions to practice it for research.
The surgery was deemed effective in treating addiction as 47% of patients involved in the trials were free from substance addiction, and 53% had relapsed. Compared to conventional interventions, which averaged 30%-40% successful addiction treatment., the surgery had a more significant impact, with more patients recovering. All associated intensive surgeries entail a considerable health risk of infections or death. The associated risk associated with the surgery that burns away the brain’s pleasure center has raised significant controversy. According to t the medical research in China, 21% of the patients involved in surgery had associated memory issues, 18% had a weakened motivation, and an additional 53% had personality changes (Muray, 2012). The procedure is carried out while the patients are conscious of minimizing the likelihood of harming areas required for feeling, awareness, or movement.
Controversial Surgery for Addiction Burns Away Brain’s Pleasure CenterIn Germany, a similar experimental surgery,i.e.., Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), was introduced that involved the placement of electrodes in a similar brain location to treat extreme pleasure and motivation deficits linked with otherwise untreatable depression. The surgery had a 60% success rate in comparison to the conventional interventions, which involve drugs in the treatment of addiction (Szalavitz, 2012). Although it is characterized by typical risks involved in brain surgery, the acclaimed surgery is more efficient and safer in managing movement disorders; however, in the treatment of addiction, the surgery also involves numerous health risks, such as irreversible brain damage associated with permanent diseases. The irreversible nature of the injuries that follow the surgery brings about concerns from ethical and addiction research restricting the surgery in treating addiction, among other associated mental disorders. Data on the efficacy of DBS for major depression has been inconsistent, linked to patient variability, cross variability, and trial design.
The ethical applications of ablation surgery to treat addiction are vast across research. Queries on informed consent from patients, the safety and effectiveness within the demographic, and associated issues on informing patients adequately about the surgery application risks (Ma et al., 2020). Drug addiction in china is highly stigmatized, and the likeliness of adherence to the ethical laws of healthcare, such as consent and information, is exceedingly doubtful, especially when the patient demographics are addicts. The use of ablative surgery in addiction therapy in clinical practice was deemed premature and reckless, and China’s Ministry of Health thus prohibited it. Further research on the surgery applications determined that the ethical guidelines required to implement the surgery go against the standard constructs of the healthcare system, making the intervention unreliable.

Ma, S., Zhang, C., Yuan, T., Steele, T., Voon, V., and Sun, B. (2020) Neurosurgical treatment for addiction: lessons from an untold story in China and a path forward, National Science Review, Volume 7, Issue 3, Pages 702–712. Retrieved from:
Murray, P. (2012). China Uses Controversial Brain Surgery To Cure Drug Addiction. SingularityHub. Accessed from:
Brice, M. (2012). Controversial Surgery Destroys Brain’s Pleasure Center to Combat Addiction, Mental Illness. Medical Daily. Accessed from:
Szalavitz, M. (2012), Controversial Surgery for Addiction Burns Away Brain’s Pleasure Center. Time., Accessed from:,the%20ability%20to%20feel%20joy.
Recovery First Treatment Center. (2019). Burning Brain Tissue: a Cure for Drug Addiction? Accessed from:
Controversial Surgery for Addiction Burns Away Brain’s Pleasure Center

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