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Pathological Gambling: A Behavioral Addiction

Pathological Gambling: A Behavioral Addiction

Dr Carlos Blanco, impulsive behavior in pathological gambling, a treatable addictionPathological gambling (PG) is a behavioral disorder that when left untreated has devastating public health and familial consequences. An expert whose work focuses on the neurobiology and treatment of mood, anxiety, and addictive disorders, Carlos Blanco, MD, PhD, spoke at the APA Annual Meeting on impulsive behavior in PG. In this video, he briefly summarizes and offers suggestions for clinicians to identify signs and symptoms of PG. Dr Blanco noted these key points:

•The relationship between PG, impulsivity, and compulsivity was examined
•An assemblage of data from neurobehavioral studies, brain imaging studies, epidemiological surveys, and clinical trials show that PG shares aspects of both impulsivity and compulsivity
•Impulsivity features appear to predominate, but there are still compulsive aspects of PG, with little concern for consequences
•PG is a behavioral addiction, with the most severe forms affecting approximately 2% to 3% of the population
•The success rate is high (about 65%) for patients who seek treatment for the disorder

Dr Blanco is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University in New York, where he also completed his residency and research fellowship. More information can be found at http://www.columbiagamblingdisordersclinic.org/about.html.

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