18th February 2011 - New research


Parkinsonism Related Disorders [2011] Feb 8 [Epub ahead of print] (Hassan A, Bower JH, Kumar N, Matsumoto JY, Fealey RD, Josephs KA, Ahlskog JE)  Complete abstract

Dopamine agonist treatment of Parkinson's Disease carries a greatly increased risk of compulsive behaviour. Compulsive behaviour provoked by dopamine agonists often goes undetected in clinical series, especially if they are not specifically enquired about. Of those people with Parkinson's Disease taking dopamine agonists 22% experienced compulsive behaviour, and 16% were pathologic. However, when the analysis was restricted to patients taking dopamine agonist doses that were at least minimally therapeutic, pathological behaviours were documented in 24% of people. The most common form of compulsions caused by dopamine agonists are : gambling (36%), hypersexuality (35%), compulsive spending or shopping (26%), binge eating (17%), compulsive hobbying (12%) and compulsive computer use (9%). The vast majority of affected cases (94%) were concurrently taking Sinemet or the equivalent. Among those with adequate follow up, compulsive behaviours completely or partly resolved when the dopamine agonist dose was reduced or ceased.
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