Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 7 of 7 items for

  • Author or Editor: Rudolf Stark x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search

Background and aims

Numerous studies have provided evidence for orthorexia nervosa (ON), an eating pattern characterized by an almost manic obsession for and fixation on healthy eating, to be of epidemiological relevance. However, there is scientific debate on whether it is merely a behavioral or lifestyle phenomenon as compared to a mental disorder. Aim of this cross-sectional study was to explore whether ON is of epidemiological and clinical relevance, and whether ON can be distinguished from other mental health disorders and healthy lifestyle features.

Methods

An online survey including a measure of orthorexic behaviors [Duesseldorf Orthorexia Scale (DOS)], well-being and distress, eating behaviors, pathological eating, anxiety and depression, addictive behaviors, obsessive–compulsive symptoms, personality, and health behaviors was completed by 713 subjects (79.8% women, 18–75 years, median age: 25 years).

Results

Twenty-seven subjects (3.8%, 21 women) showed significant orthorexic eating (DOS ≥ 30). ON cases reported lower well-being, lower satisfaction with life, and higher current stress levels than non-ON cases. The highest percentage of variation in ON was explained by pathological eating (R 2 = .380), followed by eating style, Mediterranean diet, compulsive symptoms, and subjective social status. Importantly, ON provided hardly any additional predictive value for well-being when also considering pathological eating.

Discussion and conclusions

Our data confirmed the epidemiological and clinical relevance of orthorexic behaviors, but the strong conceptual overlap with other mental health problems and pathological eating raise initial doubts as to whether ON is a distinct mental health disorder category. This co-occurrence, unique symptoms, and underlying processes need further exploration by comparing ON cases with patients with other mental disorders.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) is characterized by increased reactivity to erotic reward cues. Cue-encoded reward parameters, such as type (e.g. erotic or monetary) or probability of anticipated reward, shape reward-related motivational processes, increase the attractiveness of cues and therefore might enhance maladaptive behavioral patterns in CSBD. Studies on the neural patterns of cue processing in individuals with CSBD have been limited mainly to ventral striatal responses. Therefore, here we aimed to examine the cue reactivity of multiple key structures in the brain's reward system, taking into account not only the type of predicted reward but also its probability.

Methods

Twenty Nine men seeking professional help due to CSBD and 24 healthy volunteers took part in an fMRI study with a modified Incentive Delay Task with erotic and monetary rewards preceded by cues indicating a 25%, 50%, or 75% chance of reward. Analyses of functional patterns of activity related to cue type and probability were conducted on the whole-brain and ROI levels.

Results

Increased anticipatory response to cues predictive of erotic rewards was observed among CSBD participants when compared to controls, in the ventral striatum and anterior orbitofrontal cortex (aOFC). The activity in aOFC was modulated by reward probability.

Discussion and conclusions

Type of anticipated reward (erotic vs monetary) affects reward-related behavioral motivation in CSBD more strongly than reward probability. We present evidence of abnormal aOFC function in CSBD by demonstrating the recruitment of additional subsections of this region by erotic reward cues.

Open access

Background and aims

Several authors consider Internet-pornography-use disorder (IPD) as addictive disorder. One of the mechanisms that has been intensively studied in substance- and non-substance-use disorders is an enhanced attentional bias toward addiction-related cues. Attentional biases are described as cognitive processes of individual’s perception affected by the addiction-related cues caused by the conditioned incentive salience of the cue itself. It is assumed in the I-PACE model that in individuals prone to develop IPD symptoms implicit cognitions as well as cue-reactivity and craving arise and increase within the addiction process.

Methods

To investigate the role of attentional biases in the development of IPD, we investigated a sample of 174 male and female participants. Attentional bias was measured with the Visual Probe Task, in which participants had to react on arrows appearing after pornographic or neutral pictures. In addition, participants had to indicate their sexual arousal induced by pornographic pictures. Furthermore, tendencies toward IPD were measured using the short-Internetsex Addiction Test.

Results

The results of this study showed a relationship between attentional bias and symptom severity of IPD partially mediated by indicators for cue-reactivity and craving. While men and women generally differ in reaction times due to pornographic pictures, a moderated regression analysis revealed that attentional biases occur independently of sex in the context of IPD symptoms.

Discussion

The results support theoretical assumptions of the I-PACE model regarding the incentive salience of addiction-related cues and are consistent with studies addressing cue-reactivity and craving in substance-use disorders.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) is characterized by increased reactivity to erotic reward cues. Cue-encoded reward parameters, such as type (e.g. erotic or monetary) or probability of anticipated reward, shape reward-related motivational processes, increase the attractiveness of cues and therefore might enhance maladaptive behavioral patterns in CSBD. Studies on the neural patterns of cue processing in individuals with CSBD have been limited mainly to ventral striatal responses. Therefore, here we aimed to examine the cue reactivity of multiple key structures in the brain's reward system, taking into account not only the type of predicted reward but also its probability.

Methods

Twenty Nine men seeking professional help due to CSBD and 24 healthy volunteers took part in an fMRI study with a modified Incentive Delay Task with erotic and monetary rewards preceded by cues indicating a 25%, 50%, or 75% chance of reward. Analyses of functional patterns of activity related to cue type and probability were conducted on the whole-brain and ROI levels.

Results

Increased anticipatory response to cues predictive of erotic rewards was observed among CSBD participants when compared to controls, in the ventral striatum and anterior orbitofrontal cortex (aOFC). The activity in aOFC was modulated by reward probability.

Discussion and conclusions

Type of anticipated reward (erotic vs monetary) affects reward-related behavioral motivation in CSBD more strongly than reward probability. We present evidence of abnormal aOFC function in CSBD by demonstrating the recruitment of additional subsections of this region by erotic reward cues.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

The use of pornography, while unproblematic for the majority, can grow into addiction-like behavior which in its extreme form is labeled as compulsive sexual behavioral disorder in the ICD-11 (WHO, 2018). The aim of this study was to investigate the addiction-specific reactivity to cues in order to better understand underlying mechanisms in the development of this disorder.

Methods

We have used an optimized Sexual Incentive Delay Task to study brain activity in reward associated brain areas during an anticipation phase (with cues predicting pornographic videos, control videos or no videos) and a corresponding delivery phase in healthy men. Correlations to indicators of problematic pornography use, the time spent on pornography use, and trait sexual motivation were analyzed.

Results

The results of 74 men showed that reward-related brain areas (amygdala, dorsal cingulate cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, thalamus, putamen, caudate nucleus, and insula) were significantly more activated by both the pornographic videos and the pornographic cues than by control videos and control cues, respectively. However, we found no relationship between these activations and indicators of problematic pornography use, time spent on pornography use, or with trait sexual motivation.

Discussion and conclusions

The activity in reward-related brain areas to both visual sexual stimuli as well as cues indicates that optimization of the Sexual Incentive Delay Task was successful. Presumably, associations between reward-related brain activity and indicators for problematic or pathological pornography use might only occur in samples with increased levels and not in a rather healthy sample used in the present study.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Mateusz Gola, Karol Lewczuk, Marc N. Potenza, Drew A. Kingston, Joshua B. Grubbs, Rudolf Stark, and Rory C. Reid

Abstract

Compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD) is currently defined in the eleventh revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as an impulse control disorder. Criteria for hypersexual disorder (HD) had been proposed in 2010 for the fifth revision of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). In this article, we compare differences between HD and CSBD and discuss their relevance.

Significant differences between HD and CSBD criteria include: (1) the role of sexual behavior as a maladaptive coping and emotion regulation strategy listed in criteria for HD but not in those for CSBD; (2) different exclusionary criteria including bipolar and substance use disorders in HD but not in CSBD, and (3) inclusion of new considerations in CSBD, such as moral incongruence (as an exclusion criterion), and diminished pleasure from sexual activity. Each of these aspects has clinical and research-related implications. The inclusion of CSBD in the ICD-11 will have a significant impact on clinical practice and research. Researchers should continue to investigate core and related features of CSBD, inlcuding those not included in the current criteria, in order to provide additional insight into the disorder and to help promote clinical advances.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Matthias Brand, Hans-JÜrgen Rumpf, Zsolt Demetrovics, Astrid MÜller, Rudolf Stark, Daniel L. King, Anna E. Goudriaan, Karl Mann, Patrick Trotzke, Naomi A. Fineberg, Samuel R. Chamberlain, Shane W. Kraus, Elisa Wegmann, JoËl Billieux, and Marc N. Potenza

Abstract

Background

Gambling and gaming disorders have been included as “disorders due to addictive behaviors” in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Other problematic behaviors may be considered as “other specified disorders due to addictive behaviors (6C5Y).”

Methods

Narrative review, experts' opinions.

Results

We suggest the following meta-level criteria for considering potential addictive behaviors as fulfilling the category of “other specified disorders due to addictive behaviors”:

1. Clinical relevance: Empirical evidence from multiple scientific studies demonstrates that the specific potential addictive behavior is clinically relevant and individuals experience negative consequences and functional impairments in daily life due to the problematic and potentially addictive behavior.

2. Theoretical embedding: Current theories and theoretical models belonging to the field of research on addictive behaviors describe and explain most appropriately the candidate phenomenon of a potential addictive behavior.

3. Empirical evidence: Data based on self-reports, clinical interviews, surveys, behavioral experiments, and, if available, biological investigations (neural, physiological, genetic) suggest that psychological (and neurobiological) mechanisms involved in other addictive behaviors are also valid for the candidate phenomenon. Varying degrees of support for problematic forms of pornography use, buying and shopping, and use of social networks are available. These conditions may fit the category of “other specified disorders due to addictive behaviors”.

Conclusion

It is important not to over-pathologize everyday-life behavior while concurrently not trivializing conditions that are of clinical importance and that deserve public health considerations. The proposed meta-level-criteria may help guide both research efforts and clinical practice.

Open access