Enhanced BDNF serum levels in patients with severe pathological gambling

Francesco Angelucci, Giovanni Martinotti, Francesca Gelfo, Elisabetta Righino, Gianluigi Conte, Carlo Caltagirone, Pietro Bria, Valerio Ricci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the pathophysiology of gambling is unknown, an involvement of midbrain dopaminergic pathway has been hypothesized. In this study, the association between brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and pathological gambling was investigated. We measured BDNF serum levels in (1) video players (n = 10); (2) card players (n = 9); (3) mixed players (n = 21; both video and card players) and (4) age-matched controls (n = 18). Mixed players had increased BDNF serum levels as compared to controls and higher South Oaks Gambling Screen score as compared to card or video players. Thus, the data demonstrate that patients affected by severe pathological gambling show enhanced BDNF serum levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-751
Number of pages3
JournalAddiction Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • BDNF
  • dopamine
  • pathological gambling
  • serum levels
  • SOGS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology


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