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Gambling shares characteristics of OCD

February 13, 2015
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Previous research has found that problem gambling shares physiological and behavioral characteristics with substance abuse, but now a new study finds that gambling also has similarities with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

A study of twins that was published Feb. 11 in JAMA Psychiatry found that individuals with severe OCD or who demonstrate specific forms of OCD such as a desire for order in the environment are more likely to meet criteria for a gambling disorder. Researchers at Yale and Saint Louis universities say the finding could assist in uncovering biological measures that underlie these conditions and could lead to new treatment options.

“This overlap between problem gambling and obsessive-compulsive behaviors appears to be genetic in nature,” Yale professor of psychiatry Marc Potenza, MD, said in a Feb. 11 news release.