22nd September 2009 - New research


Journal of Neurological Science [2009] Sep 7 [Epub ahead of print] (Fénelon G, Alves G.) Complete abstract

Visual hallucinations have been found to be present in about one quarter to one third of people with Parkinson's Disease. Auditory hallucinations occur in up to 20%. Psychotic symptoms are frequent and disabling in people with Parkinson's Disease. Tactile (touch) and olfactory (smell) hallucinations are usually not systematically checked. Minor phenomena such as sense of presence and visual illusions affect anywhere between 17% to 72% of people
with Parkinson's Disease. Delusions affect only about 5%. Hallucinations persist and worsen and their prevalence increases with time. The symptoms are usually due to Parkinson's Disease drugs. Dopaminergic agonists increase the likelihood of symptoms, but there is no simple dose-effect relationship between dopaminergic treatments and the presence or severity of hallucinations. Other factors associated with hallucinations include older age, longer duration of Parkinson's Disease, disease severity, altered dream phenomena, and daytime sleepiness.
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