Gambling addicts, financial market traders who take risks without worry about the potential for losses and other people who have the potential to lose massive amounts of cash and potentially their lives could soon be helped with their gambling and other risk addictions thanks to a recent breakthrough study.
Scientists discovered in their researcher that risk seeking individuals have higher levels of the neurotrasmitter norepinephrine or noradrenaline. The chemical messenger is responsible for creating our response to losing after taking risks that adversely affect our everyday life.
Using that information scientists believe they will be able to develop drugs that target that chemical messenger, reduce it’s presence in the brain and thus causing gamblers to lose their ability to avert failing risk factors.
Julio Licinio, editor of the Molecular Psychiatry journal told Reuters:
“Pathological gambling that happens at regular casinos is bad enough, but I think it’s also happening a lot now at Casino Wall Street and Casino City of London.”
The breakthrough study included scanning the brains of 19 healthy men using positron emission tomography (PET) scans after completing a gambling task.
Interestingly the study found that loss aversion in people with high levels of the chemical messenger were willing to take a gamble even if the chances of winning more money then they could lose were not on the table.
Before drugs can be created researchers will of course need to determine what effects might occur if a pill or other form of treatment caused noradrenaline levels to fall.
Would you take a drug to treat increased levels of risk?G