A new UBC study has found there could be a better way to treat gambling addiction.
Researchers took MRI brain scans of 19 people with gambling disorders and found images from casinos triggered craving receptors in the frontal cortex and insula.
The study’s lead author Eve Limbrick-Oldfield says there was no other way of finding this.
“We’ve shown the biological marker for craving. So we all know what craving is, but the only way we’ve previously been able to measure it is by asking people.”
The study’s co-author Luke Clark says a drug used to treat addiction to alcohol and heroin could help problem gamblers.
“We’re looking at a medication called naltrexone that affects the opioid system. And we know that there are lots of opioid receptors in the insula.”
Researchers believe naltrexone would limit the craving for gambling.