Advancing, promoting and sharing knowledge of health through excellence in teaching, clinical practice and research into the prevention and treatment of illness

Problem gamblers share deficits in impulsive decision-making with alcohol-dependent individuals

Lawrence, AJ; Luty, J; Bogdan, NA; Sahakian, BJ; Clark, L (2009) Problem gamblers share deficits in impulsive decision-making with alcohol-dependent individuals. ADDICTION, 104 (6). 1006 - 1015. ISSN 0965-2140
SGUL Authors: Lawrence, Andrew John

["document_typename_application/pdf; charset=binary" not defined] Published Version
Available under License St George's repository terms & conditions.

Download (267kB) | Preview


Aims: Problem gambling has been proposed to represent a ‘behavioural addiction’ that may provide key insights into vulnerability mechanisms underlying addiction in brains that are not affected by the damaging effects of drugs. Our aim was to investigate the neurocognitive profile of problem gambling in comparison with alcohol dependence. We reasoned that shared deficits across the two conditions may reflect underlying vulnerability mechanisms, whereas impairments specific to alcohol dependence may reflect cumulative effects of alcohol consumption. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Out-patient addiction treatment centres and university behavioural testing facilities. Participants: A naturalistic sample of 21 male problem and pathological gamblers, 21 male alcohol-dependent out-patients and 21 healthy male control participants. Measurements: Neurocognitive battery assessing decision-making, impulsivity and working memory. Findings: The problem gamblers and alcohol-dependent groups displayed impairments in risky decision-making and cognitive impulsivity relative to controls. Working memory deficits and slowed deliberation times were specific to the alcohol-dependent group. Conclusions: Gambling and alcohol-dependent groups shared deficits in tasks linked to ventral prefrontal cortical dysfunction. Tasks loading on dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were selectively impaired in the alcohol-dependent group, presumably as a consequence of long-term alcohol use.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Society for the Study of Addiction. Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5, which does not permit commercial exploitation.
Keywords: Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alcohol-Related Disorders, Behavior, Addictive, Case-Control Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Decision Making, Gambling, Humans, Impulsive Behavior, Male, Memory Disorders, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, Prefrontal Cortex, Young Adult, Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Substance Abuse, Psychiatry, PSYCHIATRY, SCI, PSYCHIATRY, SSCI, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, SCI, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, SSCI, Addiction, alcohol, decision-making, impulsivity, pathological gambling, prefrontal cortex, risk-taking, vulnerability, SUBSTANCE-USE DISORDERS, SPATIAL WORKING-MEMORY, PATHOLOGICAL GAMBLERS, REFLECTION-IMPULSIVITY, REWARD-SENSITIVITY, PREFRONTAL CORTEX, TOURETTE-SYNDROME, SCREENING-TEST, PERSONALITY, TASK, 11 Medical And Health Sciences, 17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
SGUL Research Institute / Research Centre: Academic Structure > Molecular and Clinical Sciences Research Institute (MCS)
Academic Structure > Molecular and Clinical Sciences Research Institute (MCS) > Neuroscience (INCCNS)
Journal or Publication Title: ADDICTION
ISSN: 0965-2140
Related URLs:
1 June 2009Published
Web of Science ID: WOS:000265882800018
Publisher's version:

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item