Due to a new understanding of the brain, in May 2013, pathological gambling was reclassified from an impulse-control disorder to an addiction. That means there are new ways to treat it and more reasons to hope.
With a drug problem, a person adds chemicals to the body that activate dopamine. With a gambling problem, a person’s behavior activates dopamine.
"That’s very different from 20 years ago when people saw it as an issue of morality, creed and lack of willpower."
— Dr. Timothy Fong
A new study reveals impaired communication across various brain regions in compulsive gamblers. This suggestions that gambling addiction may be more due to a deviation in the brain than a weakness in character.
"For the patients it should be useful that we can now demonstrate that self-control is related to changes in the brain. This strengthens the view that this is a disease."
— Kristine Thomsen, Ph.D.
Source: Science Nordic
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