UBC Scientist Solves Problem of Gambling Rat

November 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm Leave a comment

A UBC study involving a “rat casino” may shed light on compulsive gambling behaviours in humans. Photo: Jeff Kubina, Wikimedia Commons
With the help of a rat casino, University of British Columbia brain researchers have successfully reduced behaviours in rats that are commonly associated with compulsive gambling in humans.

The study, which featured the first successful modeling of slot machine-style gambling with rats in North America, is the first to show that problem gambling behaviours can be treated with drugs that block dopamine D4 receptors. The findings have been published in Biological Psychiatry journal.

“More work is needed, but these findings offer new hope for the treatment of gambling addiction, which is a growing public health concern,” says Paul Cocker, lead author of the study and a PhD student in UBC’s Dept. of Psychology. “This study sheds important new light on the brain processes involved with gambling and gambling addictions.”

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Entry filed under: Biotechnology News and Info from Canadian Universities. Tags: .

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