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Totally addicted to…

Are people with addiction predisposed to this type of behaviour, or is it a matter of the way they think? A recent study aimed to answer this question and researchers at the University of British Columbia looked at whether there’s a genetic predisposition to gambling addiction. They studied those with a gambling disorder, their siblings and a control group. Findings found there may be a genetic predisposition and also that addiction could change people’s brains to become more sensitive to the thrill of betting.

It was a relatively small cohort and one important conclusion, which of course doesn’t make a headline, is that when the brain scans of non-gambling siblings and a control group were looked at, there were no differences, suggesting perhaps the brain activity found in addicts may have developed as a result of their gambling. In effect, they had created new neural pathways for their repeated behaviours and craved the...

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