University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series > Behavioral addictions: COVID-19 considerations and more (NOTE time: 1-2 pm)

Behavioral addictions: COVID-19 considerations and more (NOTE time: 1-2 pm)

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Chair: Prof Ed Bullmore

Abstract: Disorders due to addictive behaviors (also known as behavioral addictions) have been included in the eleventh revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Both gambling disorder and gaming disorder are formal diagnostic entities in the ICD -11, and other behaviors (e.g., social networking, buying/shopping and pornography viewing) have also been proposed as foci of potential disorders. A common element across these conditions is the ability to engage in them via the internet. During COVID -19, considerable changes in internet use have been observed, raising questions regarding problematic and healthy use of the internet during the pandemic and thereafter. In this presentation, data regarding gambling, gaming and pornography use during the pandemic will be presented, as will guidances and prevention recommendations regarding how to promote healthy use of the internet.

Biography: Dr. Potenza is a board-certified psychiatrist with sub-specialty training in addiction psychiatry. He has trained at Yale University receiving a combined BS/MS with Honors in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics and a PhD in Cell Biology, the latter concurrent with the MD through the Medical Scientist Training Program. He completed internship, psychiatric residency and addiction psychiatry fellowship training at Yale. Currently, he is a Professor of Psychiatry, Child Study and Neuroscience at the Yale University School of Medicine where he is the Director of the Division on Addictions Research, the Problem Gambling Clinic, the Center of Excellence in Gambling Research, the Women and Addictive Disorders Core of Women’s Health Research at Yale and the Yale Research Program on Impulsivity and Impulse Control Disorders. He is also a Senior Research Scientist at the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. He is on the editorial boards of fifteen journals (including editor-in-chief of Current Addiction Reports) and has received multiple national and international awards for excellence in research and clinical care. Recently, he has received lifetime achievement research awards from the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling and the National Council on Problem Gambling and research awards from the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health and Turkish Green Crescent Society (Phoenix Award for Addiction Research). He has consulted to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Registry of Effective Programs, National Institutes of Health, American Psychiatric Association and World Health Organization (WHO) on matters of addiction. He has participated in two DSM -5 research work groups and six annual WHO meetings relating to Internet use and addictive behaviors in the ICD -11, addressing topics relating to gambling, gaming, impulse control, and addiction.

Dr. Potenza’s research has focused on the neurobiology and treatment of substance and non-substance (behavioral) addictions and other disorders characterized by impaired impulse control and reward-related motivations. The majority of this work has focused on understanding clinical and neurobiological underpinnings of these disorders, and their co-occurrences with other mental health disorders, in order to advance prevention and treatment strategies. Dr. Potenza’s research has applied brain imaging, genetic, epidemiological and clinical trials methodologies to gain knowledge and improve prevention and treatment strategies for addictive disorders. This work has also involved identifying potential intermediary phenotypes, like facets of impulsivity, that may in part explain the high rates of co-occurrence between psychiatric conditions and might represent novel targets for prevention and treatment strategies.

This talk is part of the Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series series.

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