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  • Oinio, Ville; Sundström, Mikko; Bäckström, Pia; Uhari-Väänänen, Johanna; Kiianmaa, Kalervo; Raasmaja, Atso; Piepponen, Petteri (2018)
    Comorbidity with gambling disorder (GD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) is well documented. The purpose of our study was to examine the influence of genetic alcohol drinking tendency on reward-guided decision making behavior of rats and the impact of dopamine releaser D-amphetamine on this behavior. In this study, Alko alcohol (AA) and Wistar rats went through long periods of operant lever pressing training where the task was to choose the profitable of two options. The lever choices were guided by different-sized sucrose rewards (one or three pellets), and the probability of gaining the larger reward was slowly changed to a level where choosing the smaller reward would be the most profitable in the long run. After training, rats were injected (s.c.) with dopamine releaser D-amphetamine (0.3, 1.0 mg/kg) to study the impact of rapid dopamine release on this learned decision making behavior. Administration of D-amphetamine promoted unprofitable decision making of AA rats more robustly when compared to Wistar rats. At the same time, D-amphetamine reduced lever pressing responses. Interestingly, we found that this reduction in lever pressing was significantly greater in Wistar rats than in AA rats and it was not linked to motivation to consume sucrose. Our results indicate that conditioning to the lever pressing in uncertain environments is more pronounced in AA than in Wistar rats and indicate that the reinforcing effects of a gambling-like environment act as a stronger conditioning factor for rats that exhibit a genetic tendency for high alcohol drinking.
  • Latvala, Tiina; Alho, Hannu; Raisamo, Susanna; Salonen, Anne H. (2019)
    Aims: This study explores the associations between gambling involvement, type of gambling, at-risk and problem gambling (ARPG) and register-based grade point average (GPA), among Finnish people aged 18-29 years (N = 676). It is assumed that high gambling involvement and engaging in certain types of gambling are linked to ARPG, and that low school achievement is positively associated with these measures. Methods: A nationwide cross-sectional random sample was collected in 2015. The data were weighted based on gender, age and region. Analyses were carried out using logistic regression models. Results: Frequent gambling, playing several game types, online gambling and ARPG were more common among men than women. Those with low GPA played fast and low-paced daily lottery games and used online casinos significantly more often than men and women with average/high GPA. Men with a low GPA were also more likely to gamble on a weekly basis and played casino games and online poker more often. For women with a low GPA online gambling and playing slot machines were more common than for women with an average/high GPA. When controlling for sociodemographic variables and gambling involvement, men's participation in daily lottery games and online poker was significantly associated with a low GPA, but among women none of the game types remained statistically significant. Among women, playing several different game types was linked with a low GPA. Conclusions: It seems that poorer school achievement is associated not only with frequent gambling, a large number of game types played and online gambling, but also, to some extent at least, with game type preferences.