A Shopaholic Drug?
For anyone prone to impulse spending sprees that take a toll on the household budget, help may be on the horizon. A group of psychiatrists at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis led by Jon E. Grant tested a drug originally intended to treat – wait for it! – Alzheimer's and found that the study participants were a whopping 50% less likely to buy stuff on a whim that they didn't need and couldn't afford.
MailOnline quotes the researchers as saying, "Hours spent shopping per week and money spent shopping both decreased significantly, with no side effects." The medication used in the trial is memantine (brand name Ebixa.) Compulsive shopping is a bona fide disorder that grips people with the urge to stuff their closets at the expense of prudent money management. In these perilous economic times, that affliction is more dangerous than ever.
"Our findings suggest that pharmacologic manipulation of the glutamate system may target the impulsive behavior underlying compulsive buying," the researchers said, according to MailOnline."At an advanced stage they change the architecture of the brain. These people become addicted to shopping, it takes over their lives, and it’s necessary to alter the 'chemical soup' in their brain in order to help them."