Dopaminergic medication can induce severe addictive behaviours (e.g., pathological gambling) in susceptible Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. It is still unknown which particular neurocognitive processes become exacerbated or dysfunctional in PD patients with addictive behaviours. We sought to systematically review the relevant literature to identity potential neurocognitive correlates of medication-induced addictive behaviours in PD. We framed our review around neurocognitive processes central to four dominant accounts of substance addiction: ‘aberrant learning’, ‘incentive sensitization’, ‘impulsivity to compulsivity’ and ‘impaired response inhibition and salience attribution’. Searches of the PubMed and Scopus databases were completed on June 23, 2017. To be included, studies were required to involve: (a) medicated PD patients, without a history of deep brain stimulation, with and without addictive behaviours; (b) a reward-related or decision-making task; and (c) statistical comparison of addictive and non-addictive groups’ ‘on’ medication performance on the task(s). Studies were summarised qualitatively with statistically significant (p<.05) group differences and effect sizes (Cohen's d) highlighted. 35 studies were included. Findings showed that the extant literature is highly heterogeneous. The domains of reward and punishment learning, reflection impulsivity and disadvantageous decision-making exemplify this. More homogeneity exists in domains in which (a) neurocognitive dysfunction is not apparent (motor control, cognitive/attentional flexibility and cognitive control) or (b) typical neurocognitive processes appear exacerbated by medication (reward motivation and choice impulsivity). Future large-scale neurocognitive studies are still required to develop our scientific understanding of addictive behaviours in PD and aid their clinical treatment and prediction.
- Parkinson's disease