tDCS for Gambling

There have been intense neuroscience and clinical research on the brain underpinnings of Gambling Disorder and addiction. Effective treatments for gambling are still lacking. transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is being tested to try and treat gambling disorders. Here is a summary of some important human trials:

In a paper called “A role for the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in enhancing regulation of both craving and negative emotions in internet gaming disorder: A randomized trial” the authors conclude “evidence confirming that tDCS of the right DLPFC enhances both cravings- and negative-emotion-regulation. This suggests a promising approach for concurrently enhancing executive control over two central motivational drives underlying addictions.” Enhancing the regulation of craving means people can stop themselves.

In a paper called “Effect of transcranial direct current stimulation on decision making and cognitive flexibility in gambling disorder,” the scientist says “tDCS may be a promising neuromodulation-based therapeutic approach in gambling disorder.” The applied tDCS to people with gambling disorder and looked at a range of outcomes like improving mood (less depressed), better thinking, and better decision making.  

 This paper brings up the flip side of tDCS and gambling. For those without a disorder, could tDCS make you a better gambler? tDCS can help you focus and has been shown to make people more creative. Who knows?

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