Low platelet monoamine oxidase activity in pathological gambling

J. L. Carrasco, J. Sáiz‐Ruiz, E. Hollander, J. César, J. J. López‐Ibor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Decreased platelet monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity has been reported in association with sensation‐seeking personality type and in some mental disorders associated with a lack of impulse control. Pathological gambling itself has been related with both sensation‐seeking and reduced impulse control. Platelet MAO activity was investigated in 15 DSM‐III‐R pathological gamblers from our outpatient clinic. Gamblers had a significantly lower platelet MAO activity than a group of 25 healthy controls. The range of MAO levels in gamblers was also significantly shorter than in controls. In controls, platelet MAO levels showed the previously described negative correlations with sensation‐seeking scores but not in gamblers. The findings are consistent with previous studies showing an association of low platelet MAO activity with impulse control disorders and raise some interesting therapeutic alternatives for pathological gambling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-431
Number of pages5
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • gambling
  • impulsivity
  • monoamine oxidase
  • platelet
  • sensation‐seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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