Understanding and Treating Behavioral Addictions

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Manage series 1184515
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Behavioral addictions, such as pathological gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, compulsive buying and compulsive sexual behavior, represent significant public health concerns and are associated with high rates of psychiatric comorbidity and mortality. Although research into the biology of these behaviors is still in an early stage, recent advances in our understanding of motivation, reward, and addiction, have provided substantial insight into the possible pathophysiology of these disorders. Biochemical, functional neuroimaging, genetic studies, and treatment research have all suggested a strong neurobiological link between behavioral addictions and substance use disorders. Given the substantial co-occurrence of these groups of disorders, improved understanding of their relationship has important implications not only for understanding further the neurobiology of both categories of disorders but also for improving prevention and treatment strategies.

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