Disordered gambling and dementia

Abstract

Disordered gambling is a term used to describe the full range of gambling problems, which includes pathological and sub-clinical gambling. Pathological gambling is a psychiatric disorder with social consequences. The purpose of this paper was to explore the phenomenon of pathological gambling in persons suffering from dementia. Medline and Google Scholar searches were conducted for relevant articles, chapters, and books published before 2015. Search terms used included “pathological gambling”, “gambling disorder”, “behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia”, “dementia”, “Alzheimer's disease”, and “frontotemporal dementia”. Publications found through this indexed search were reviewed for further relevant references. Literature on pathological gambling in the course of dementia consists of case reports and small samples of patients. Pathological gambling arising late in life should be thoroughly investigated to rule out organicity. Neurological and neuropsychological assessments should be considered especially in late onset PG patients with other behavioral and cognitive symptoms. PG, which was associated with frontal lobe dysfunction, has also been reported in disorders such as FTD.

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