Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Health Food Supplement May Curb Addiction Of Pathological Gamblers

Date:
September 12, 2007
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
Researchers have discovered that a common amino acid, available as a health food supplement, may help curb pathological gamblers' addiction. Results are encouraging for other addictions, too. In a recent eight-week trial, 27 people were given increasing doses of a specific amino acid which has an impact on the chemical glutamate -- often associated with reward in the brain. At the end of the trial, 60 percent of the participants reported fewer urges to gamble.

University of Minnesota researchers have discovered that a common amino acid, available as a health food supplement, may help curb pathological gamblers' addiction.

In a recent eight-week trial, 27 people were given increasing doses of the amino acid, N-acetyl cysteine, which has an impact on the chemical glutamate -- often associated with reward in the brain. At the end of the trial, 60 percent of the participants reported fewer urges to gamble.

"It looks very promising," said Jon Grant, J.D., M.D., a University of Minnesota associate professor of psychiatry and principal investigator of the study. "We were able to reduce people's urges to gamble."

Those who responded well in the first round of the study were asked to continue to participate in a double-blind study -- a testing method where neither the researcher nor subjects know who is in the control group until the study is finished.

Of the 16 who responded to the amino acid the first time around, 13 agreed to continue in the double-blind study (three didn't want to risk quitting the drug) for an additional six weeks. About 83 percent who received the supplement, continued to report fewer urges to gamble. Nearly 72 percent of those who took the placebo went back to gambling.

Similar studies using N-acetyl cysteine have shown its ability to curb drug addictions in animals, and a current University of Minnesota study conducted by Grant is investigating whether the drug could help methamphetamine users quit.

"This research could be encouraging for a lot of addictions," Grant said.

This pilot study is the first to examine the efficacy of a glutamate-modulating agent in the treatment of pathological gamblers, making the findings fairly significant, Grant said.

Because subjects knew they were taking a supplement during the first phase of the study and since there was a relatively small number of subjects in the double-blind portion, a larger study is warranted to confirm the validity of these findings. University of Minnesota researchers are currently seeking a federal grant to fund it.

The research will be published in the Sept.15, 2007 issue of Biological Psychiatry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "Health Food Supplement May Curb Addiction Of Pathological Gamblers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070911120331.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2007, September 12). Health Food Supplement May Curb Addiction Of Pathological Gamblers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070911120331.htm
University of Minnesota. "Health Food Supplement May Curb Addiction Of Pathological Gamblers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070911120331.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins