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Isr Med Assoc J. 2010 Apr;12(4):243-8.

Pathological gambling: an impulse control disorder? Measurement of impulsivity using neurocognitive tests.

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  • 1Research Department, Beer Yaakov Mental Health Hospital, Beer Yaakov, Israel. pinhasd@post.tau.ac.il

Abstract

Pathological gambling is classified in the DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and in the ICD-10 (International Classification of Disease) as an impulse control disorder. The association between impulsivity and pathological gambling remains a matter of debate: some researchers find high levels of impulsivity within pathological gamblers, others report no difference compared to controls, and yet others even suggest that it is lower. In this review we examine the relationship between pathological gambling and impulsivity assessed by various neurocognitive tests. These tests--the Stroop task, the Stop Signal Task, the Matching Familiar Figures Task, the Iowa Gambling Task, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, the Tower of London test, and the Continuous Performance Test--demonstrated less impulsivity in gambling behavior. The differences in performance between pathological gamblers and healthy controls on the neurocognitive tasks could be due to addictive behavior features rather than impulsive behavior.

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PMID:
20803888
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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