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Brain Chemical Dopamine May Boost Risk-Taking in Healthy People

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 – Higher levels of the brain chemical dopamine may increase risk-taking behaviors in healthy people, much like dopamine-boosting drugs have been shown to do in people with Parkinson's disease, a small new study finds. British researchers discovered that raising dopamine levels in healthy adults led to them taking greater risks when gambling. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with reward-based learning. Previous research has linked drugs that increase dopamine, such as L-DOPA, with compulsive gambling in Parkinson's disease patients. The new study included 30 people. They were asked to choose between safe and risky gambling options that resulted in monetary gains and losses. They did this after receiving L-DOPA and again after receiving an inactive placebo. The participants took more risks to get bigger rewards after receiving L-DOPA, but not the placebo. ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Dopamine, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Intropin

Accidental Medication Poisonings in Kids on the Rise

Posted 16 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 16 – Despite ongoing prevention efforts, a growing number of young children are being accidentally poisoned with medications, according to new research. The study, which was based on data reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers between 2001 and 2008, found that medication poisoning among children aged 5 and under increased by 22 percent, although the number of children in the United States in this age group rose by only 8 percent during the study period. "The problem of pediatric poisoning in the U.S. is getting worse, not better," Dr. Randall Bond, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said in a hospital news release. In conducting the study, which is scheduled for publication in the Journal of Pediatrics, the researchers reviewed information on over 544,000 children who landed in the emergency department due to medication poisoning ... Read more

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