Impulse Control Disorders And Parkinson’s Disease: What’s The Connection?

In recent years, reports about Parkinson’s disease patients engaging in excessive gambling have cropped up in the news. Several lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies have been filed by individuals claiming that the drug treatments for Parkinson’s disease caused them to develop gambling disorders, sex addiction and other impulse control disorders. So, what is the connection between disordered gambling behavior and a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer’s motor skills and speech? We asked Dr. Marc Potenza, a professor of psychiatry, child study and neurobiology at Yale University School of Medicine, to shed light on this research in the July edition ofIssues & Insights. Dr. Potenza, a co-author of thelargest studyto date on Parkinson’s disease and impulse control disorders, explains that the relationship between these disorders is more complex than may be suggested by some news accounts. You can read the summary of this study inJuly’s Issues and Insights. As always we welcome your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

NCRG staffResearch Updatecomorbidity of pathological gamblingnew researchParkinson’s Disease