Certain types of Parkinson’s disease medications are linked to impulse control disorders, such as pathological gambling, compulsive shopping and binge eating, according to a study of more than 3,000 Parkinson’s disease patients by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine.
“Dopamine agonist treatment in Parkinson’s disease is associated with a 2- to 3.5-fold increased odds of having an impulse control disorder,” said lead author Daniel Weintraub, MD, associate professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Impulse control disorders were more common in individuals taking dopamine agonists compared with patients not taking dopamine agonists (17.1 percent vs. 6.9 percent).
Researchers noted that dopamine agonists are increasingly used to treat other conditions, and initial case reports suggest that impulse control disorders may occur with dopamine agonist treatment in patients with restless leg syndrome and fibromyalgia. Further studies in these patient populations are needed to assess the link between dopamine agonist treatment and compulsive behaviors.
The study appears in the May issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Please visit the JAMA/Archives press release for more information.
Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 16 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $398 million awarded in the 2012 fiscal year.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Penn Medicine also includes additional patient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2012, Penn Medicine provided $827 million to benefit our community.