Better odds against gambling addiction

Gambling addiction is a serious problem: Photo by MarkyBon via Flickr Creative Commons.
Gambling addiction is a serious problem: Photo by MarkyBon via Flickr Creative Commons.
A new study at the University of Minnesota has shown favorable signs that an amino acid, easily available as a health food supplement, may curb the pathological urge to gamble in some subjects.

“It looks very promising,” said Jon Grant, a University of Minnesota associate professor of psychiatry and the study’s principal investigator.

Twenty-seven subjects were administered increasing doses of the amino acid known as N-acetyl cysteine during the two-month trial. N-acetly cysteine acts on the chemical glutamate - often linked with reward in the brain – and is commonly sold under the name NAC at health food store. When it ended, 60 percent of the study’s subjects reported reduction in their urges to gamble.

Most of the participants from the original study then agreed to continue into a second phase that went for another six weeks. Phase two of the study, however, was a double-blinded, meaning neither subjects nor researchers knew who was in the control group.

That time around 83 percent of those who were given the supplement reported fewer urges to gamble, while more than 71 percent of those given placebos returned to gambling.

It was the first time a glutamate-modulating agent was used in treating gambling addiction. The results of Grant’s research will appear in the upcoming issue of Biological Psychiatry.

“This research could be encouraging for a lot of addictions,” he said.


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Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Thor's picture
Thor says:

I'm betting this is gonna work!

posted on Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:34pm
bob2008's picture
bob2008 says:

Drug rehabilitation (often drug rehab or just rehab) is an umbrella term for the processes of medical and/or psychotherapeutic treatment, for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and so-called street drugs such as cocaine, heroin or amphetamines.

posted on Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:34am

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