Tionally, some results may reflect poor motivation and attention [24,25] rather than

Tionally, some results may reflect poor motivation and attention [24,25] rather than PGrelated primary neuropathology, which has not yet been well defined [23].Neurological assessment paradigms may be of value in revealing cortical abnormalities in PG. In this regard, neurological soft signs (NSSs) are reliable [26?8], easily administered and temporally stable [29,30] markers of neurological compromise, which impose fewer cognitive demands than buy Sudan I neuropsychological tests and are therefore less influenced by performance confounds [31]. In contrast to hard neurological signs localizable to a specific brain site, their soft counterparts are attributed to wider brain regions and functionally connected neuroanatomical systems, involved in integrative neurological functions such as sensory perception, coordination and motor sequencing [32,33]. Neurological soft signs have been observed in a growing number of neuropsychiatric syndromes including mood disorders [34?6], obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) [37?9], post-traumatic stress disorder [26,27], impulse control disorder [40], schizophrenia [32,34,41], and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [42]. Furthermore, an inverse relationship between NSSs scores and total brain volume has been noted in psychopathological populations [27,43] adding support to the generalized rather than localized NSSs’ nature. In a previous paper, we reported that cocaine dependence is characterized by the NSS of constructional apraxia [31]. As with PG, cocaine dependence is classified in the DSM-V draft among Substance Use and Addictive Disorders [44]. However, in addition to its representing a behavioral addiction, a substance addiction to cocaine exerts profound chemical effects on the brain that may even result in such injuries as subarachnoid/parenchymal 166518-60-1 hemorrhages [45?6] and infarcts [47,50]. Because it is not confounded by exogenous neurotoxicity, PG offers a unique opportunity to test whether a purely behavioralNeurological Soft Signs and Gamblingaddiction is accompanied by neurological compromise. To our knowledge, NSSs have not yet been investigated in pathological gamblers. The presence in PG of obsessive/compulsive and impulsive features each of which has been previously linked with NSSs [40,57,58] suggests that NSSs may also be seen in PG. Accordingly, in this project we assessed three NSSs in PG and healthy subjects. These were: a) copying two- and threedimensional figures (as previously tested in cocaine subjects 15755315 [31]); b) filtration of visual signal from noise; and c) left-right orientation in the form of reading and understanding a simple road map. These visuospatial and sensory integration tasks were selected for the present project from our comprehensive NSSs assessment battery based upon their discriminative ability in drugdependent and other psychiatric patients [27,31,59] as well as their ease of administration as paper-and-pencil tasks. We hypothesized that patients with PG would be more impaired than healthy subjects on all three tasks.Methods SubjectsTwenty-one subjects who met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM IV-TR) criteria for PG, and 10 non-gamblers who did not meet DSM IV-TR criteria for any disorder, were recruited by newspaper advertisement for participation in a previous study on the neurobiology of PG. The biochemical [60] and psychosocial [61] stress responsivity findings from that study have been reported elsewhere.Tionally, some results may reflect poor motivation and attention [24,25] rather than PGrelated primary neuropathology, which has not yet been well defined [23].Neurological assessment paradigms may be of value in revealing cortical abnormalities in PG. In this regard, neurological soft signs (NSSs) are reliable [26?8], easily administered and temporally stable [29,30] markers of neurological compromise, which impose fewer cognitive demands than neuropsychological tests and are therefore less influenced by performance confounds [31]. In contrast to hard neurological signs localizable to a specific brain site, their soft counterparts are attributed to wider brain regions and functionally connected neuroanatomical systems, involved in integrative neurological functions such as sensory perception, coordination and motor sequencing [32,33]. Neurological soft signs have been observed in a growing number of neuropsychiatric syndromes including mood disorders [34?6], obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) [37?9], post-traumatic stress disorder [26,27], impulse control disorder [40], schizophrenia [32,34,41], and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [42]. Furthermore, an inverse relationship between NSSs scores and total brain volume has been noted in psychopathological populations [27,43] adding support to the generalized rather than localized NSSs’ nature. In a previous paper, we reported that cocaine dependence is characterized by the NSS of constructional apraxia [31]. As with PG, cocaine dependence is classified in the DSM-V draft among Substance Use and Addictive Disorders [44]. However, in addition to its representing a behavioral addiction, a substance addiction to cocaine exerts profound chemical effects on the brain that may even result in such injuries as subarachnoid/parenchymal hemorrhages [45?6] and infarcts [47,50]. Because it is not confounded by exogenous neurotoxicity, PG offers a unique opportunity to test whether a purely behavioralNeurological Soft Signs and Gamblingaddiction is accompanied by neurological compromise. To our knowledge, NSSs have not yet been investigated in pathological gamblers. The presence in PG of obsessive/compulsive and impulsive features each of which has been previously linked with NSSs [40,57,58] suggests that NSSs may also be seen in PG. Accordingly, in this project we assessed three NSSs in PG and healthy subjects. These were: a) copying two- and threedimensional figures (as previously tested in cocaine subjects 15755315 [31]); b) filtration of visual signal from noise; and c) left-right orientation in the form of reading and understanding a simple road map. These visuospatial and sensory integration tasks were selected for the present project from our comprehensive NSSs assessment battery based upon their discriminative ability in drugdependent and other psychiatric patients [27,31,59] as well as their ease of administration as paper-and-pencil tasks. We hypothesized that patients with PG would be more impaired than healthy subjects on all three tasks.Methods SubjectsTwenty-one subjects who met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM IV-TR) criteria for PG, and 10 non-gamblers who did not meet DSM IV-TR criteria for any disorder, were recruited by newspaper advertisement for participation in a previous study on the neurobiology of PG. The biochemical [60] and psychosocial [61] stress responsivity findings from that study have been reported elsewhere.

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