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Current Drug Safety


ISSN (Print): 1574-8863
ISSN (Online): 2212-3911

Impulsive and Compulsive Behaviors During Dopamine Replacement Treatment in Parkinson’s Disease and Other Disorders

Author(s): Michele Raja and Anna Rita Bentivoglio

Volume 7, Issue 1, 2012

Page: [63 - 75] Pages: 13

DOI: 10.2174/157488612800492726

Price: $65


Impulsive and compulsive behaviors, including pathologic gambling, hypersexuality, compulsive shopping, compulsive eating, excessive engagement in hobbies, punding, and Dopamine Dysregulation Syndrome (DDS), are increasingly reported serious side-effects of dopaminergic medication, used in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease (PD) and other disorders. Dopamine Agonists (DA) are strongly related with Impulse Control Disorders (ICDs), while L-dopa is associated with DDS. The present paper focuses on ICDs. The estimated prevalence of ICDs in PD patients treated with DA is as high as 14%. ICDs pathophysiology is complex, due to multiple contributing factors. Dopamine neurotransmission along the meso-cortico-limbic pathway is a modulator of risk behavior and can be altered in PD and in the course of dopaminergic treatment. Psychiatric complications, associated with treatment of PD are still underdiagnosed, although their consequences can be serious, even catastrophic. Physicians treating PD with DA should warn the patients and their relatives of the risk of inducing ICDs. Psychiatrists should be trained to recognize these side effects, that can mimic primary psychiatric conditions. The management of ICDs includes discontinuation of DA or switching from DA to other drugs for the treatment of PD. Cognitive behavior therapy, serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors, nalmefene, zonisamide, low dose of anti-dopaminergic drugs, as quetiapine or clozapine, can be effective. Psychological, spiritual, and ethical support (familial or individual) can help.

Keywords: Dopamine agonists, impulse control disorders, L-dopa, Parkinson’s disease, punding, restless leg syndrome, side effects, therapy

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