Puke With Your Head, Not Over It
Fresh off reporting on groundbreaking psychological research showing that hidden biases can affect our political views (gee, thanks), the multi-talented Shankar Vedantam -- a published fiction writer and prize-winning playwright, as well as a journalist -- brings us news of a promising possible treatment for compulsive gambling.
Results from the largest study ever of medical treatments for pathological gambling show that a medication already known to disrupt addictions [nalmefene] is effective at getting people away from the craps table and back to their lives.
Gamblers who took the drug felt less craving compared with others who were given placebos, said Jon E. Grant, a psychiatrist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis who led the study. The study was funded by BioTie Therapies Corp. of Finland, which makes the drug.
But don't get your hopes up yet, gambling addicts:
The study showed that nalmefene is not yet a sure bet, however. Two-thirds of the patients dropped out of the study because of side effects, mainly nausea. A second study is being launched with lower doses.
We love craps as much as the next guy. But a burning desire to vomit will get us away from that table pretty darn fast.
Shankar Vedantam bio [Vedantam.com]