Pathological gambling: a systematic review of biochemical, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological findings (2012)

Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2012 May-Jun;20(3):130-48. doi: 10.3109/10673229.2012.694318.


Conversano C, Marazziti D, Carmassi C, Baldini S, Barnabei G, Dell’Osso L.


Dipartimento di Psichiatria, Neurobiologia, Farmacologia e Biotecnologie-University of Pisa, Italy.


Pathological gambling is an emerging psychiatric disorder that has recently gained much attention because of its increasing prevalence and devastating personal, familial, and social consequences. Although its pathophysiology is largely unknown, the shared similarities with both addiction and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders have suggested the possibility of common psychobiological substrates. As with many other psychiatric disorders, it is believed that pathological gambling may result from the interplay between individual vulnerability and environmental factors. The aim of this article is to offer a comprehensive review of the main neurobiological aspects of pathological gambling, with particular attention to neuropsychological and related findings. A deeper understanding of the biological correlates of pathological gambling is required in order to develop effective treatment strategies.