Unfortunately, there is no denying that a percentage of our population suffers from a gambling addiction. Which in turn not only hurts their finances but their social and personal lives immensely. It is because of this that scientists have been looking at ways to combat gambling addiction. Oddly enough, they have done this through the usage of implants and nasal sprays.
Last month, in an academic journal, the Stanford University’s Medical Centre team released a paper. This paper surrounds the premise of potential to use brain implants to prevent impulsive and addictive behaviour. The academic journal to which the paper was published is titled, ‘Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences’.
Dr. Casey Halpern, a neurosurgery assistant professor, Led the research team that managed to find specific electrical signals in the brain. These electrical brain signals could, in fact, predict pathological behaviours.
So, how they managed to pick up on these electrical brain patterns was by studying mice that had learned to overeat foods that are fatty. The researchers along with Halpern discovered that there was a distinct and an easily recognisable pattern of electrical activity in the brains of the mice that would occur just before eating the foods.
Thereafter, the scientists implanted electrodes into the brains of the mice. Once the electrodes were implanted, they gave off a ten-second electrical pulse into the specific region of the brain that would react to the pleasure of eating fatty foods. Thereafter, the overeating of the mice reduced drastically.
Soon after, the researchers found that the electrical patterns found in the brains of the mice were not that different to that of humans with gambling addictions. The humans that were looked at had received a brain implant to assist in a serious case of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Halpern points out that many people who have a problem with some sort of disorder or addiction would be willing to get the implant.
So, if you think that getting an implant in your brain to assist with your addiction- whatever it may be- is too drastic, then maybe the medication research may interest you more. This research is being conducted by Finnish health experts. The researchers are looking to find if an average nasal spray that is used to treat overdoses could also assist obsessive gambling problems.
Thus far, there have been 30 candidates that have volunteered to be test subjects for the study. However, the researchers are hoping for 130 volunteers.