Problem gambling in Parkinson’s not always linked to drugs

Dopaminergic medication in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) may precipitate problem gambling but its effect depends on a range of factors, according to a small study.

The 40-person study led by Dr Jacqueline Olley from the University of Sydney found while patients who decreased dopaminergic medication use were less likely to gamble, they still experienced gambling problems, albeit to a lesser degree.

Factors that influenced their gambling problems include pre-morbid impaired impulse control behaviours, impulsivity traits, anxiety and adverse emotions, as being in forced retirement due to symptoms.