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Wearing Those Gambling Genes. 2005-09-26
While the common explanation of compulsive gambling has always been of depression or loneliness, it has never been proven before. Medicine now is trying to figure out the correlation between pathological gambling and major depression. They figure that this occurs with mainly middle-aged men, unlike women as found in Scotland.
Yale School of Medicine and Washington University's School of Medicine, are participating in the research. The doctors conducting the research believe, at least within men, that compulsive gambling is within the genes. The lead author, Marc Potenza, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry, said this research will help find the gene, and hopefully a way to prevent or fix the problem.
The first part the study examines pathological gambling or depression and how they progress over time. The second part of the research discusses treating one disorder, and how that may affect the other disorder.
The Vietnam-era Twin Registry was used for the study. Both look at the genetic makeup and environment to examine the disorders. Comparisons can be made between identical, or monozygotic, twins, and fraternal, or dizygotic, twins. These studies already have identified a genetic carried factor to pathological gambling, anti- social behavior, as well as alcohol dependence.
The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Co-authors of the study are Hong Xian, Kamini Shah, Jeffrey Scherrer, and Seth Eisen, M.D. They all hope to continue this trend, and find better solutions for helping social issues, related to depressive behavior including gambling.
(By Andrea)