Affiliations: [a] Department of Psychology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy
| [b] Research Unit in Affective and Social Neuroscience, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy
| [c] Parkinson Institute, ASST G. Pini-CTO, ex ICP, Milan, Italy
Correspondence to: Michela Balconi, Department of Psychology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Largo Gemelli, 1, 20123, Milan, Italy. Tel.: +39 2 72342233; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abstract: Background:Pathological gambling (PG) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) manifests as a persistent and uncontrollable gambling behavior, characterized by dysfunctional decision-making and emotional impairment related to high-risk decisions. Objective:The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between personality traits and prefrontal cortex activity in PD patients with or without PG. Methods:Thus, hemodynamic cortical activity measured by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) performance were recorded in forty-six PD patients, divided into three groups according to their gambling status: PD patients with active gambling behavior (PDG); PD patients who remitted from PG (PDNG); and a control group (CG) composed by patients with PD only. Results:Results indicates that gambling behavior in PD patients is strongly predictive of dysfunctional cognitive strategy; affecting anomalous cortical response with a left hemispheric unbalance in dorsal areas; and it is related to more reward sensitivity than impulsivity personality components. Conclusions:PDG patients differed from PDNG and CG from both behavioral and brain response to decision-making. Overall, these effects confirm a pathological condition related to cognitive and emotional aspects which makes the patients with PGD victims of their dysfunctional behavior.