Gambling Disorders 360°

Exploring the latest news, issues and research relating to gambling disorders and responsible gaming

NCRG-Funded Researchers in the News

by: NCRG Staff | Mar 5, 2015

Research by two NCRG-funded investigators has recently received broad media coverage. Marc Potenza, MD, PhD, principal investigator of the Yale Center of Excellence in Gambling Research, was the senior author of an article published in the high-impact journal JAMA Psychiatry in February 2015. This twin study sheds new light on the relationship between gambling disorder and obsessive-compulsive behaviors. The study finds that individuals with severe obsessive-compulsive behaviors — or those who demonstrate specific forms of the behavior, such as fear of germs or desire for order in the environment — are also more likely to meet diagnostic criteria for gambling disorder.

“This overlap between problem gambling and obsessive-compulsive behaviors appears to be genetic in nature,” said Dr. Marc Potenza, professor of psychiatry, child study, and neurobiology at Yale. “This common biological basis of the disorders could help inform treatment development efforts for individuals with co-occurring gambling problems and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.”

Andrew Kayser, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, will present findings from an NCRG-funded study at the American Academy of Neurology’s 67th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC in April. The study found that different brain processes are at work in preteens who are open to experimenting and exploring new things, compared with their more reticent peers. Dr. Kayser believes that this research will increase understanding of how exploration can lead to both positive and negative behaviors that can promote or reduce well-being in teenagers.

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