Risk factors for pathologic gambling and other compulsions among Parkinson's disease patients taking dopamine agonists

Asha Singh, Geetha Kandimala, Richard B. Dewey, Padraig O'Suilleabhain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations


Three hundred patients with Parkinson's disease taking dopamine agonists were surveyed for the presence of compulsions. Fifty-eight reported active compulsions which had developed after initiation of dopamine agonists. These included 25 with sexual compulsions and 28 with self-described compulsive gambling, of whom 17 met criteria for pathologic gambling. Males were over-represented. Patients with any compulsion and those with pathologic gambling were about 6 years younger than those without compulsions. These behavioral problems were not associated with an individual dopamine agonist, nor dose or duration, nor concomitant levodopa. Follow-up of the pathologic gamblers 1 year after intervention, which was cessation of the dopamine agonist in most cases, found ongoing but controlled gambling in five and complete cessation within 4 months in the remainder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1178-1181
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007



  • Dopamine agonists
  • Gambling
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neurology

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