British University To Conduct Study Of Ketamine Against Gambling Addiction

A new study is going to investigate whether ketamine stops problem gambling. Researchers at the University of Exeter are therefore seeking participants to investigate the effect of ketamine on gambling addictions. Ketamine is a dissociative anaesthetic used medically for the induction and maintenance of anaesthesia. The University of Exeter is a public research university in Exeter, Devon, England, in the United Kingdom.

The University of Exeter in England is going to start a study into the effects of the drug ketamine on gambling addiction. The research aims to find out whether the influence of ketamine can be used to break down the positive reinforcement associated with gambling addiction in the human brain. The researchers also want to see whether the drugs help prevent the urge to gamble.

Led by professor of psychopharmacology Celia Morgan, the research will focus on the benefits and side effects of recreational drugs on cognitive ability, mental health and neurobiology. If the effects of ketamine are proved to be significant, it could be used in the combat against gambling addiction.

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First Study Of This Kind

Celia Morgan, Professor of Psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter, states that Ketamine is supposed to prevent gambling addiction by blocking the memory of gambling winnings. Morgan says she is privileged to be able to conduct the study:

“The study is the first of its kind in the world and could represent a breakthrough. Gambling problems destroy lives and we urgently need new treatments. We feel privileged to be conducting this innovative and important study at the University of Exeter and hope that it may eventually lead to new treatment options for people struggling with gambling problems.”

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The Mechanism of Memory

Scientists are discovering more and more about the mechanism of memory, the introduction of the study reads. That is why the university wants to investigate how important rewards and memories are for people who gamble excessively. In addition, they want to find out whether this memory can be modified by administering a low dose of ketamine to the gamblers to block the memory of the good feeling of the gambling win. Ketamine is a drug that blocks a receptor involved in memory and learning. Scientists are also trying to discover more about memory mechanisms and how they help people respond to rewards such as food, money, and drugs. They want to look at how these memories are important to those who consume drugs and alcohol or engage in other unhealthy behaviour like (online) gambling.

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“Much Lower Chance Addiction Thanks To Ketamine”

Because only a low dose of ketamine is administered, the chance that someone will become addicted to the drug to solve the gambling addiction may drop drastically, the researchers say. Ketamine is safe and people tolerate it well in the doses chosen for this study, the British university claims. The university does report that ketamine can cause several side effects. At anaesthetic doses, between 10 and 20% of adults experience adverse psychiatric reactions that occur during emergence from anaesthesia. These side effects range from dreams and dysphoria to hallucinations and emergence delirium.

The University of Exeter is still looking for people to participate in the study. To participate in the study you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be fluent in English.
  • Gamble regularly.

The study takes 30 days to complete, including two on-campus meetings and three online meetings. The research is funded by Awakn Life Sciences, a biotechnology company that researches, develops, and commercialises drugs for the treatment of different addictions.

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