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Gambling Addiction, The Side Effect of Parkinson’s Disease Treatment


Gambling addiction, among others, can be a possible side effect of Parkinson’s Disease Treatment. Neurologists from Loyola University found a link between gambling and Parkinson’s. They revealed drugs prescribed to treat Parkinson’s can contribute to pathological gambling. Moreover, these medications can also accelerate compulsive buying, hyper-sexuality and binge eating.

As it was published in a report on Science Daily, scientists detailed further their findings about treating impulse control disorders (ICD) in Parkinson’s disease. The authors from the Loyola University –  José Biller MD and Adolfo Ramirez-Zamora MD – reviewed the medications that can help control ICDs. These strategies are including the application of antidepressants, anti-epileptic drugs and cognitive behavioral therapy.

A previous study stated about 14 percent of Parkinson’s disease patients had ICD. However, the recent survey implies higher prevalence. The ICDs are more common in men, they are more likely to develop gambling addiction, and hyper-sexuality. In terms of women, they rather tend to exhibit compulsive eating and shopping. The consequences of these disorders are well-known; divorce, financial troubles and loss of employment among many others.

What Causes Gambling Addiction in Parkinson’s Disease Treatment?

As scientists of Loyola University stated that the main risk factor of the disorders, including gambling addiction, is the use of ‘dopamine agonists’ which keeps tremors under control. This drug is the basic treatment of the disease. Moreover, there are many other risk factors of Parkinson’s Disease caused gambling addiction. Smoking, alcoholism, and different personality traits like depression or anxiety are the secondary factors of this.

Parkinson’s disease is a condition and it appears when nerve cells die in the brain. It causes coordination problems so the treatment tries to replace the missing dopamine which helps to regulate movement.

Stars like the famous boxing icon Muhammad Ali, actor Michael J Fox and the comedian Billy Connolly are suffering from the disease. Usually people who aged over 50 have this illness and currently there are no cure for this.

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About the author

Journalist, sociologist, passionate about writing and music. Especially jazz music, so can be defined as a jazz journalist too. Besides these, loves writing about everything from extreme sports to gambling or fashion sociology. Wine, Coffee and Winter fan, and a real OPTIMIST.

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