Prevalence of pathological gambling in patients with Parkinson's disease



Pathological gambling (PG) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by loss of control of gambling, which has repercussions on family, personal, and professional life. Several recent studies have reported the relationship between PG and the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD), but no prevalence study has yet been conducted to investigate this correlation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of PG in Italian patients with PD on dopamine replacement therapy. The prevalence of PG in a PD sample (n = 98) and in an age- and sex-matched control group (n = 392) was obtained. The prevalence of PG results significantly higher (P = 0.00001) in PD patients than in control subjects (6.1% vs. 0.25%). Our results emphasize that PG in patients with idiopathic PD on dopamine replacement therapy is an emergent comorbidity, but probably at present the condition is not properly diagnosed because it is mostly unknown. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society