Journal Article

SY26-3SERUM BDNF LEVELS IN PATIENTS WITH GAMBLING DISORDER ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE SEVERITY OF GAMBLING DISORDER AND IOWA GAMBLING TASK INDICES

S. W. Choi, Y. C. Shin, J. Y. Mok, D. J. Kim, J. S. Choi, S. S. H. Hwang, J. E. Song, N. R. Kim and S. Y. Hyun

in Alcohol and Alcoholism

Volume 49, issue suppl_1, pages i24-i24
Published in print September 2014 | ISSN: 0735-0414
Published online September 2014 | e-ISSN: 1464-3502 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agu052.113
SY26-3SERUM BDNF LEVELS IN PATIENTS WITH GAMBLING DISORDER ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE SEVERITY OF GAMBLING DISORDER AND IOWA GAMBLING TASK INDICES

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Background. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in the pathophysiology and cognitive dysfunction of substance use disorders (SUDs). Gambling disorder (GD) shares many similarities with SUDs in clinical, neurobiological and neurocognitive features, including decision making.

Methods. To evaluate the relationship among BDNF, GD and decision making, serum BDNF levels were assessed in 21 male patients with GD and 21 healthy sex- and age-matched control subjects. The severity of GD was measured with the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). We then investigated the association between serum BDNF levels and the severity of GD. Finally, we analyzed the association between the serum BDNF levels and Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) indices.

Results. Mean serum BDNF levels were significantly increased in the patients with GD compared to healthy controls (p < .0001). We also found a significant correlation between serum BDNF levels and PGSI scores (r = .558, p = 0.02) when controlling for age, depression, and duration of GD. In terms of IGT indices, a negative correlation was identified between serum BDNF levels and IGT improvement scores (r = -.477, p < .05).

Conclusions. The findings of this study support the hypothesis that serum BDNF levels may constitute a dual biomarker for the neuroendocrinological changes and the severity of GD in patients. Furthermore, serum BDNF level may be an indicator of poor decision-making performance, especially in terms of learning processes implicated in GD. With continued investigation, this line of research could expand our understanding of the common neurobiological underpinnings of SUDs and GD.

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Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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