Pharmacological Treatments for Behavioral Addictions: From Behavioral Dimensions to the Research Domain Criteria Based Target
Stefano Pallanti, Giacomo Grassi, Tommaso Tofani and Silvia Spitoni
Affiliation: Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health - Neurofarba. Psychiatry Section, University of Florence, via delle Gore 2H, 50100 Florence, Italy.
Keywords: Addictions, hypersexual disorder, maladaptive behaviors, pathological gambling.
Several patterns of maladaptive behaviors share their clinical features with those of substance use disorders
such as tolerance, withdrawal, repeated unsuccessful attempts to cut back or quit, and interference in major areas of life
function, thus gaining the name of “behavioral addictions”. Several studies showed that behavioral addictions and
substance addictions share a similar pattern of brain activation during symptom provocation tasks, suggesting a common
neurobiological substrate. However, despite the growing knowledge on the neurobiological underpinnings of behavioral
addictions, treatment of these conditions is still controversial. Research Domain Criteria project would help in identifying
circuitry involved in complex behavioral syndromes such as addiction either to substances or not-substances. The purpose
of this review is to summarize current knowledge of the different pharmacological approaches to behavioral addictions. In
particular, we will focus on the pharmacological treatment of pathological gambling, internet addiction and hypersexual
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