Pathological gambling is an impulse control disorder that disrupts relationships and daily activities. There is evidence that a subnormal concentration of glutamate in the nucleus accumbens region of the brain increases compulsive or addictive behaviors.
A recent study found that when individuals with nicotine dependence and pathological gambling were given N-acetylcysteine (NAC) for 12 weeks their gambling problem significantly decreased. What was more interesting was that 3 months after the study was concluded the effects of NAC persisted.
The initial dosage of NAC was 1200mg/day; this was increased to a maximum of 3000mg/day. NAC has been show to increase glutamate concentrations in the nucleus accumbens.
Terry Pfau, DO, HMD