Background. The possibility that monoaminergic
neurotransmission is altered in pathological gambling was examined.
Methods. Monoamines and their metabolites were measured in
CSF obtained at level L4–5 from ten pathological gamblers and
Results. A decrease in dopamine and an increase in
3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and homovanilic acid was found.
Noradrenaline and its metabolite 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol was
also increased but 5-hydroxytryptamine and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid
Conclusion. It is suggested that the function of the
dopaminergic system, possibly mediating positive and negative reward,
and the noradrenergic system, possibly mediating selective attention,
is changed in pathological gambling.