Clinical Case Study ARTICLE

Front. Psychiatry, 27 November 2012 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2012.00102

Amantadine in the treatment of pathological gambling: a case report

Mauro Pettorruso1, Giovanni Martinotti2*, Marco Di Nicola1, Marco Onofrj3, Massimo Di Giannantonio2, Gianluigi Conte1 and Luigi Janiri1
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Drug Addiction Unit, Catholic University Medical School, Rome, Italy
  • 2Department of Neuroscience and Imaging, University G. d’Annunzio, Chieti, Italy
  • 3Department of Neurology, University G. d’Annunzio, Chieti and Pescara, Italy

Despite almost a decade of intense research, effective treatment strategies for Pathological Gambling (PG) remain very challenging. This paper details a case report suggesting that the treatment of PG may benefit from the use of the non-specific glutamate blocker amantadine. The drug was well-tolerated and effective, leading to a 43–64% reduction in severity of gambling symptoms (as measured with G-SAS). Our result is discussed in the context of the glutamatergic hypothesis of addiction and in light of previous observations on the potential impact of glutamatergic agents in the treatment of PG. The role of the dopaminergic system, and its interaction with the glutamatergic system, is also explored. Further studies are required to define the true benefits of amantadine for the treatment of PG.

Keywords: pathological gambling, amantadine, addiction, glutamate, dopamine, treatment, glutamatergic drugs

Citation: Pettorruso M, Martinotti G, Di Nicola M, Onofrj M, Di Giannantonio M, Conte G and Janiri L (2012) Amantadine in the treatment of pathological gambling: a case report. Front. Psychiatry 3:102. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2012.00102

Received: 27 September 2012; Accepted: 07 November 2012;
Published online: 27 November 2012.

Edited by:

Marco Diana, University of Sassari, Italy

Reviewed by:

Roberta Agabio, University of Cagliari, Italy
George Kenna, Brown University, USA
Marco Diana, University of Sassari, Italy
Primavera A. Spagnolo, National Institutes of Health, USA

Copyright: © 2012 Pettorruso, Martinotti, Di Nicola, Onofrj, Di Giannantonio, Conte and Janiri. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Giovanni Martinotti, Clinica Villa Maria Pia, Via del Forte Trionfale 36, 00135 Rome, Italy. e-mail:

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