Compulsivity as an endophenotype: The search for a hazy moving target

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The study of compulsivity has been of long-standing interest in psychiatry but has recently become a hot topic of research after being linked to over a dozen conditions. In their review, el-Guebaly and colleagues [1] present evidence that pathological gambling (PG) is a condition that shares more phenomenological, neurobiological, psychological and treatment-related commonalities with substance use disorders (SUDs) than with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The suggestion is that PG should be diagnostically re-classified as a `behavioural addiction? rather than an `impulse?control disorder? (ICD). The authors go on to argue that the compulsivity observed in PG is similar to that observed in SUDs and may represent a candidate endophenotype. The review presents a fresh and innovative approach to understanding these common and disabling disorders. We take this opportunity to present some of the potential challenges of adopting this approach for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1735 - 1736
Number of pages2
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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