Neurobiological mechanisms of problem gambling and treatment


Background and aims

In the past decade, neurobiological research on pathological gambling has flourished. Based on neurobiological similarities between pathological gambling and substance use disorders and similarities in genetics, diagnostic criteria, and effective treatments, pathological gambling was the first behavioral addiction to be included in the DSM-5 within the revised category Substance-related and addictive disorders.

In this presentation novel findings from gambling research in our research group focusing on the role of impulsivity, anticipation towards monetary outcomes, and the interaction between stress and cue reactivity will be presented, with a focus on new functional MRI results. An overview will be given on the concepts of impulsivity and compulsivity in pathological gambling and relevant neurocognitive and neuroimaging findings. Implications of neurobiological research for novel intervention research, such as in neuromodulation studies and personalized medicine will be highlighted.

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