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Gambling disorder is a relatively common psychiatric disorder recently re-classified within the DSM-5 under the category of ‘substance-related and addictive disorders'.
To compare white matter integrity in patients with gambling disorder with healthy controls; to explore relationships between white matter integrity and disease severity in gambling disorder.
In total, 16 participants with treatment-resistant gambling disorder and 15 healthy controls underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). White matter integrity was analysed using tract-based spatial statistics.
Gambling disorder was associated with reduced fractional anisotropy in the corpus callosum and superior longitudinal fasciculus. Fractional anisotropy in distributed white matter tracts elsewhere correlated positively with disease severity.
Reduced corpus callosum fractional anisotropy is suggestive of disorganised/damaged tracts in patients with gambling disorder, and this may represent a trait/vulnerability marker for the disorder. Future research should explore these measures in a larger sample, ideally incorporating a range of imaging markers (for example functional MRI) and enrolling unaffected first-degree relatives of patients.
Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable morbidity and mortality, and young people are increasingly affected. The aim of this study was to examine relationships between obesity and dissociable forms of impulsivity in young adults.
A group of young adults (511) was recruited from city areas in the United States using media advertisements. These young adults were administered careful and extensive clinical and neurocognitive assessment in order to quantify different aspects of impulsivity (behavioral/phenomenological-, cognitive-, and personality-related measures). Associations between obesity and impulsivity were explored using multivariate analysis of variance and discriminant function analysis.
10.8% of the sample was obese, and 21.5% was overweight. Compared to controls, subjects with obesity showed significantly elevated rates of maladaptive gambling behaviors, monetary amounts lost to gambling, nicotine consumption, impulsive action (prolonged stop-signal reaction times in the Stop-Signal Test), and impulsive decision-making (reduced modulation of behavior as a function of risk in the Cambridge Gamble Test). Even accounting for potential confounding variables, obesity was significantly predicted by female gender, older age, more maladaptive gambling behaviors, and worse inhibitory control (stop-signal reaction times).
Obesity is associated with several dissociable forms of impulsivity in young people, especially gambling and impulse dyscontrol. Family doctors should screen for gambling problems in obese young adults. Successful treatment of nicotine dependence in young obese people is likely to require intensive weight management support. Neuropsychological deficits relating to impulsivity occur in obese people in early adulthood, and may represent vulnerability markers rather than being due to chronic untoward metabolic effects on brain function.
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