Drugs could treat compulsive gamblers
Help could be on the way for compulsive gamblers- scientists say drugs used to treat substance abuse could work for pathological gamblers too.
US researchers tested medications on two different groups of gamblers- those who are driven by urge and those who are unable to control their impulse to gamble.
Those driven by urge responded well to medications that block the brain opioid system or certain receptors for a neurotransmitter called glutamate.
Those who couldn’t control their impulse to gamble responded well to drugs targeting an enzyme that plays an important role in the function of the prefrontal cortex.
“By understanding these different subtypes [of gamblers], we are able to target the core biology of the illness with individualized treatment,” study author Dr. Jon Grant, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, said in a news release from the college.
“When we look at pathological gambling as an addiction and try to understand the sense of urge and inhibitions, we are able to target the treatment with medication more effectively.”