OBJECTIVE: The authors studied platelet monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity
and psychological characteristics of male pathological gamblers. METHOD:
Twenty-seven male pathological gamblers were compared with a group of
healthy individuals who were matched by age, sex, and tobacco consumption.
Measures included platelet MAO activity and scores on the MMPI and
Zuckerman's Sensation Seeking Scale. RESULTS: Platelet MAO activity and
scores on several MMPI scales for the two groups were significantly
different, but measures of sensation seeking were not. No correlations of
biological significance were found between platelet MAO activity and
psychological ratings. CONCLUSIONS: Low platelet MAO activity may be a
biological predisposition for impulsivity in pathological gamblers.
Although no psychological pattern is characteristic of pathological
gamblers, they differ from healthy individuals in some personality traits.
No significant relationship could be established between platelet MAO
activity and psychological measures.