N-Acetylcysteine for Gambling Addiction

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

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