Diagnosis, neurobiology, and treatment of pathological gambling

Concetta M. DeCaria, Eric Hollander, Robert Grossman, Cheryl M. Wong, Serge A. Mosovich, Scott Cherkasky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Pathological gambling is a disabling disorder that affects at least 2 1/4 million Americans and their families. Although pathological gambling has been characterized as an impulse control disorder, it has also been associated with compulsivity. Essential features of pathological gambling include constantly recurring gambling behavior that is maladaptive, in that personal, familial, and/or vocational endeavors are disrupted. Affective disorders and substance abuse often co-occur. Incidence of suicidality is extremely high. Despite the fact that this disorder is a widespread public health problem, few controlled studies of causes or treatment have been conducted. Preliminary neurobiological studies implicate serotonergic dysfunction in pathological gamblers. Treatment with serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as clomipramine and fluvoxamine, may he effective in treating this disorder. Well-defined and controlled clinical trials in large samples of pathological gamblers are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-84
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue numberSUPPL. 8
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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