Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) As a Putative Featured Diagnostic Disorder of the Brain: Etiological Root Not Symptom

Kenneth Blum1-5*, Richard Green2, David Baron1, Catherine Dennen, A.2, Eric Braverman, R.2, Panayotis Thanos, K.6,7, Abdalla Bowirrat8, David Han9 & Rajendra Badgaiyan, D.10,11

1Division of Addiction Research & Education, Center for Psychiatry, Medicine, & Primary Care (Office of Provost) Western University Health Sciences, Pomona, CA., USA
2Division of Nutrigenomics, The Kenneth Blum Behavioral Neurogenetic Institute, (Ivitalize, Inc.), Austin, TX., USA
3Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA
4Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
5Department of Psychiatry, Wright University Boonshoff School of Medicine, Dayton, OH USA
6Behavioral Neuropharmacology and Neuroimaging Laboratory on Addictions, Clinical Research Institute on Addictions, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biosciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY USA
7Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA
8Department of Molecular Biology, Adelson School of Medicine, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel
9Department of Management Science and Statistics, University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas, USA
10Department of Psychiatry, South Texas Veteran Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital, Long School of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX, USA
11Department of Psychiatry, MT. Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA

Dr. Kenneth Blum, Division of Addiction Research & Education, Center for Psychiatry, Medicine, & Primary Care, Western University Health Sciences, USA., Division of Nutrigenomics, The Kenneth Blum Behavioral Neurogenetic Inst

Keywords: Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS); Genetic Addiction Risk Score (GARS); Hypodopaminergia; Substance Use Disorder; Addiction; Epigenetics; Neurogenetics; Polymorphisms; Reward Dysregulation


Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) characterization is based on the biological processes of reward that underpin substance addiction and all addictive, compulsive, and impulsive behaviors. RDS disrupts/prevents normal feelings of satisfaction and represents a failure of the reward cascade system that normally confers satisfaction. The fundamental cause of RDS is dopamine dysregulation in the brain’s reward center (the mesolimbic system), which results in hypodopaminergia. Therefore, RDS is a deficiency, a hypodopaminergic trait/state that is caused by a combination of genetic variations, environmental stressors, and adverse molecular effects or blunting due to prolonged substance use, behavioral habituation (epigenetics), or DNA polymorphic antecedents (neurogenetics). RDS can be assessed and diagnosed with the Genetic Addiction Risk Score (GARS) test, which has also been used in clinical studies to measure predisposition to RDS sequelae (i.e., addictions) and their severity, thus having clinical utility and benefit. Additionally, research demonstrates that over half of all suicides are related to substance use. In addition to effective fellowship programs and spiritual acceptance, nutrigenomic therapies (e.g., KB220Z) optimize gene expression, rebalance neurotransmitters, and restore neurotransmitter functional connectivity. KB220Z, a semi-customized nutrigenomic supplement, has been shown to increase functional connectivity across specific brain regions involved in dopaminergic function and significantly reduce RDS behavioral disorders. The GARS test, used in conjunction with KB220Z, can be used to effectively treat RDS and restore dopamine homeostasis. Finally, we believe that RDS should be included in future versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) because, while the DSM features symptomology, it is equally important to feature etiological roots as portrayed in the RDS model.

View Full Text | Download PDF

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Total Articles Published


Total Citations:



Cient Periodique is a ‘Gold’ open access publisher that aspires to offer absolute free, unrestricted access to the valuable research information

We welcome all the eminent authors to submit your valuable paper

Cient Periodique invites the participation of honourable Editors and Authors

CPQ Journals provide Certificates for publication

Cient Periodique also offers memberships for potential Authors

Best Articles will be appreciated with the provision of corresponding Certificate


We're here to answer your questions!

Send us a message via Whatsapp, and we'll reply the moment we're available!