RATS SHOW THERE’S HOPE FOR GAMBLING ADDICTS


Palin gambled…she threw a “”hate Letterman” party and nobody came.  Bad choice Sarah.  However, there’s hope for you.

Its takes a rat to to prove that there’s hope for overly-ambitious-salivating-for-power politicos and compulsive gamblers.  The University of British Columbia has a study in motion that tests rats ability to use winning strategy and play the odds.  There’s hope for obsessive Wall Street high rollers, political strategists and me.

Therapies to treat pathological risk takers depend upon adjusting dopamine and serotonin in the brain.  It’s working on four legged rats and altering their ability to make good decisions.  The rats make choices…when tempted with instant gratification of large amounts of treats that end in a “time-out” punishment, after a few blunders, the rats decide to choose less treats at one time and get to go after treats again.  Rats can learn that long term satisfaction wins over immediate gratification.

If two-legged habitual gamblers could learn to choose the long term pleasure and fore-go the immediate thrill of a ‘big kill”, with therapy, Wall Street wheeler dealers would be less likely to tempt customers with risky buys, Obama’s far-seeing health care and banking reforms would attract more supporters and I would not be tempted to hit the casinos.

So as Smuckers Jams and Jellies report unexpected higher earnings (probably because we’re substituting sweets for the sour situation we’re in) – the Stock Market slithers up today and jobless claims drop a smidgen, the un-therapied gambler in me is making even odds that the “rat test” results will not have doctors treating obsessives tomorrow.  A fast application of this test is a “long-shot.”  The non-gambler wheels of the AMA turn slowly.

However, if you identify with the rats, there’s hope.  If rats can benefit from dopamine and serotonin brain therapy and learn to make profitable choices based upon negative and positive experiences, so can the compulsive money moguls, pathologically slow moving Senate bill-passers, you and me.

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