Paper in Journal of gambling studies (co-sponsored by the National Council on Problem Gambling and Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming)
- Olley, J., Blaszczynski, A., Lewis, S. (2015). Dopaminergic Medication in Parkinson's Disease and Problem Gambling. Journal of gambling studies (co-sponsored by the National Council on Problem Gambling and Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming), 31 (3) pp. 1085 - 1106.
Studies on Parkinson's disease patients on dopaminergic medication report elevated rates of problem gambling. Results suggest changes in gambling behaviour are associated with the commencement and termination of dopaminergic medication implying a direct causal relationship. However, previous reports have not controlled for possible factors independent of dopamine medication contributing to the onset of problem gambling. This study aimed to explore the temporal relationships between problem gambling and dopamine medication taking into account premorbid gambling risk factors in a sample of Parkinson's disease patients. Twenty patients with Parkinson's disease meeting criteria for moderate risk or problem gambling were compared to twenty patients with Parkinson's disease who did not meet such criteria. The cross-sectional research design compared between group qualitative and quantitative differences. Participants completed an in-depth interview and timeline follow back, and battery of psychometric measures assessing impulsivity, gambling status, affective states, and obsessionality. Results revealed a complex and varied temporal relationship between dopaminergic medication onset and gambling. A small number of participants manifested excessive gambling following dopaminergic medication, with some ceasing on reduction in dosage or change in agonist class. Many demonstrated a range of individual and situational characteristic similar to problem gamblers in the general population, and in older adults with gambling problems. The obtained results provide a better understanding of the role of dopaminergic medication in problem gambling. Such findings have theoretical relevance to the reward deficiency model of gambling and have implications for the treatment of pathological gambling in PD and the general community.