Cognitive status of patients with Parkinson's disease and pathological gambling

Chiara Siri, Roberto Cilia, Danilo De Gaspari, Margherita Canesi, Nicoletta Meucci, Anna Lena Zecchinelli, Gianni Pezzoli, Angelo Antonini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cognitive status of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) who developed pathological gambling (PG) during dopamine replacement therapy has been poorly explored. We compared clinical and cognitive features of 21 consecutive PD patients with active PG (PD-PG) versus 42 PD controls of similar disease duration without any impulse control disorder. All patients underwent full neuropsychological testing to evaluate executive and other frontal lobe-related functions, attention, learning and memory, language, visuospatial abilities and neuropsychiatric status [using Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI)] as well as the South Oaks Gambling Screen Scale (SOGS). PD-PG were younger (60.4 vs. 64.9, p = 0.01) and more frequently of male gender (85 vs. 57%, p = 0.02). The two groups did not differ in medication dosages and kind of dopamine agonist. PD-PG had higher MMSE (29.1 vs. 27.4, p = 0.02) and performed better at Rey Auditory Verbal learning Test (45.9 vs. 40.4, p = 0.04), verbal phonemic fluencies (38.7 vs. 31.8, p = 0.02), verbal semantic fluencies (44.9 vs. 37.4, p = 0.01) and attentive matrices (47.6 vs. 43.5, p = 0.05) while the remaining cognitive performances were comparable to controls. Moreover, based on the NPI, PD-PG had higher aggressiveness, irritability, disinhibition and eating disorders than controls. In conclusion the occurrence of PG in our cohort of patients with PD was associated with preserved executive functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-252
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Cognitive functions
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Pathological gambling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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