Research Topic

Impulsive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders

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Impulsive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders (ICSDs) harbor several neuropsychiatric conditions charactertised by inappropriate behaviours the core pathophysiological substrate of which relates to maladaptive impulses and/or an impairment in their control mechanism. ICSDs, which include ADHD, Obsessive/Compulsive ...

Impulsive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders (ICSDs) harbor several neuropsychiatric conditions charactertised by inappropriate behaviours the core pathophysiological substrate of which relates to maladaptive impulses and/or an impairment in their control mechanism. ICSDs, which include ADHD, Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder, Tourette syndrome, drug addiction, Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease, eating disorders or pathological gambling, represent a very heavy burden to our societies. Each of these ICSDs is a nosological entity characterized by specific clinical constructs and symptoms, thereby revealing that maladaptive impulse control can be manifested throughout a constellation of different abnormal psychological and behavioural processes.

However, ICSDs are increasingly considered to represent different behavioural manifestations of overlapping underlying neurobehavioural processes, or endophenotypes, long considered to map onto a continuum from impulsivity to compulsivity. Yet, beyond the understanding of the multifaceted nature of impulsivity and compulsivity, recent developments, both at the psychological, and neural/cellular level, have challenged the notion that the former, characterized by the propensity to respond without enough forethought or the inability to stop an ongoing response, and the latter, characterised by repetitive rigid maladaptive perseverative behaviour, do indeed represent non overlapping entities. Indeed, each ICSD is now viewed as a chimera of specific facets of impulsivity and compulsivity, whose underlying neural basis within the corticostriatal circuitry, may partially overlap.

A challenge for current research is to enter the area or personalized medicine for ICSDs, which is predicated on the identification and the understanding, at the psychological, behavioural and neural level, of the way different facets of impulsivity and compulsivity interact in the etiopathogeny and the severity of different ICSDs, thereby offering a transnological neuropsycological framework within which to identify their endophenotypes of vulnerability.

This Research Topic aims to offer a state of the art of the field, bringing together international experts in clinical and preclinical research on impulsivity and compulsivity in order to try to delineate the core neuropsychological processes of impulse control disorders within a translational approach. An emphasis will be made on the transition from impulsivity to compulsivity and the contribution of negative reinforcement and maladaptive habits to the development of compulsive disorders.


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