Amino acids in pathological gambling and in its alleviation: Pharmacological approaches

Abstract

Labelling Pathological gambling {(PG)} with a tag of {Socio-Psychological} problem more than medical causes hampers its pharmacological treatment. Because of this, its neurobiology has been studied only a little, limited to abnormalities in the serotonergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic systems. Besides this; studies on the role of precursors of these neurotransmitters are almost negligible. Higher concentrations of known precursors like tryptophan, tyrosine and phenyl alanine have been reported in the {CSF} of pathological gamblers. In addition to this, recently many other inhibitory and excitatory amino acids like {GABA}, taurine, aspartic and glutamic acids have been found to be in much higher concentration, providing a basis for the candidate amino acids in the therapy of {PG.} Many of these amino acids have beneficial actions in a number of {CNS} problems. On this basis, as most of these amino acids are non-toxic and natural, such amino acids can be used as supplements /compliments in {PG} therapy. One of these amino acids, taurine, a sulfur containing amino acid which is now part of various energy drinks, anti-ageing and anti-diabetes formulas, mood enhancers and many more alternative medicine applications, also could exert beneficial actions in alleviating {PG.} Therapy with amino acids also has its own limitations; hence development of pro-drug derivatives of these amino acids may constitute a new class of therapeutic agent for {PG.} This review is a blended form of synthesis and synopsis about various amino acids in the context of {PG}, considering their potential utility and providing a provocative stimulus for scientific thinkers.

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