The functional anatomy of impulse control disorders

Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2013 Oct;13(10):386. doi: 10.1007/s11910-013-0386-8.

Abstract

Impulsive-compulsive disorders such as pathological gambling, hypersexuality, compulsive eating, and shopping are side effects of the dopaminergic therapy for Parkinson's disease. With a lower prevalence, these disorders also appear in the general population. Research in the last few years has discovered that these pathological behaviors share features similar to those of substance use disorders (SUD), which has led to the term "behavioral addictions". As in SUDs, the behaviors are marked by a compulsive drive toward and impaired control over the behavior. Furthermore, animal and medication studies, research in the Parkinson's disease population, and neuroimaging findings indicate a common neurobiology of addictive behaviors. Changes associated with addictions are mainly seen in the dopaminergic system of a mesocorticolimbic circuit, the so-called reward system. Here we outline neurobiological findings regarding behavioral addictions with a focus on dopaminergic systems, relate them to SUD theories, and try to build a tentative concept integrating genetics, neuroimaging, and behavioral results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / genetics
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism
  • Reward
  • Substance-Related Disorders / genetics
  • Substance-Related Disorders / pathology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / physiopathology

Substances

  • Neurotransmitter Agents