Alzheimer's pill could help cure shopaholics

   May 29, 4:12 pm

London, May 29 (ANI): A pill designed to treat Alzheimer's could help compulsive shoppers curb their devastating habit, say psychiatrists.

In tests, shopaholics given the medication spent less time shopping and cut the cash they squandered on impulse buys.

More than four out of five sufferers are women. Their problem is not just resisting a sales sign, but buying things they don't need and can't afford.

A team of psychiatrists from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, tested a medication called memantine, normally prescribed to prevent deterioration in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's.

Clinical trial results showed after eight weeks, men and women taking the pill reduced the amount of time shopping and the amount of money spent.

Overall, symptoms were halved, with less impulsive buying and improvements in brain function linked to impulsive urges, thoughts and behaviour.

"Hours spent shopping per week and money spent shopping both decreased significantly, with no side effects," the Daily Mail quoted the psychiatrists saying.

Those taking part in the study of nine people aged 19 to 59 were diagnosed with compulsive buying disorder, based on 'senseless preoccupation' with shopping and spending. This led to distress, an inability to function at work or socially and financial problems.

People in the trial earned almost 40,000 pounds a year on average, but were spending 61 per cent of their income on impulsive purchases, mostly clothes. They were looking for bargains up to 38 hours a week in shops.

The researchers said the impulsive spending was often triggered by sale signs, a need to impress, a desire to 'must have', and body image. They scored the shoppers on a range of tests at the start of the two-month trial, measuring symptoms such as buying urges, anxiety, depression, stress and disability caused by the problem.

Memantine, also known as Ebixa, was originally designed for Alzheimer's and has been approved for use in NHS patients who fail to respond to other treatments.

It acts on the brain chemical glutamate, which is thought to be involved in the development of dementia, but it is also believed to be involved in obsessiveness and may play some role in OCD (obsessive compulsive disorders).

"Our findings suggest that pharmacologic manipulation of the glutamate system may target the impulsive behaviour underlying compulsive buying," said the researchers. (ANI)

New 'game changing' Ebola research improves understanding virus in great apes Sep 19, 6:31 am
Washington, Sept 19 (ANI): A new research in Ebola virus has developed a new method to study the virus in wildlife by describing the use of fecal samples from wild great apes.
Full Story
Ebola infections cross 5000 mark in West Africa: WHO Sep 19, 6:31 am
Johannesburg, Sep 19 (ANI): The World Health Organization (WHO) has reportedly said that the number of people infected by the Ebola virus in West Arica has crossed 5,000.
Full Story
How chronic stress destroys us revealed Sep 19, 6:30 am
Washington, Sept 19 (ANI): A new study has revealed how chronic stress leads to behavioural problems in people.
Full Story
Sri Lanka to establish human heart valve bank for pediatric patients Sep 19, 6:29 am
Colombo, Sept. 19 (ANI): The Sri Lankan Government plans to establish a human heart valve bank at the Lady Ridgeway Children Hospital in Colombo for pediatric patients.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY