Public health significance and societal consequences of pathological gambling

The panel discussion on the occasion of the 25th ECNP Congress in Vienna, Austria, will focus not only on medical issues of pathological gambling, but also on its public health significance and societal consequences.
(14 October 2012, 15.00-15.45, Austria Center Vienna).

SPEAKERS: Professor John E. Grant, J.D., M.D., Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, USA;

Dr. Anna E. Goudriaan, Ph.D., Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Pathological gambling is a relatively common mental disorder, which can lead to severe personal or social consequences. Being unable to resist or control impulses to gamble, people with pathological gambling disorder will continue their gambling behaviour even in the face of consequences - such as large gambling losses, committing crimes to get money to gamble, losing a job, relationship, or career opportunity - damaging to themselves and their families. With gambling opportunities expanding around the world in the form of lotteries, casinos, electronic and Internet gambling, pathological gambling has received increased attention from clinicians and researchers.

In recent years, significant progress has been made in elucidating the neurobiological underpinnings of pathological gambling and in pharmacotherapy research. Dr. Anna E. Goudriaan from the Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research, the Netherlands, will shed light on the expanding knowledge regarding the neural mechanisms of pathological gambling and the intriguing question of whether expectations in the brain of persons with addictions are different from persons without addictions. Furthermore, she will outline exciting perspectives for future treatments of pathological gambling that are targeted at brain activation patterns associated with addictive behaviours. 

Professor John E. Grant, a renowned mental health expert from the University of Chicago, USA, will present an overview of established and novel pharmacological treatments for pathological gambling and highlight new treatment approaches.

Against this background, the panel discussion will focus not only on medical issues of pathological gambling, but also on its public health significance and societal consequences.



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