A recent study has revealed two to three fold increased risk of having an impulse control disorder among Parkinson’s patients treated with dopamine agonists compared with those who did not receive dopaminergic therapy. The findings of this study were presented at the 12th International Congress of Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders.

According to logistic regression analysis both dopamine agonist therapy and levodopa treatment were associated independently with a higher risk for an impulse control disorder. Generally, in statistics, logistic regression model is used for prediction of the probability of occurrence of an event by fitting data to a logistic curve. This model makes use of several predictor variables, which can be either numerical or categories.

Dopaminergic agonists that act directly at the receptor level, would be able to decrease the incidence of the motor complications in Parkinson’s patients.Dopamine agonists are compounds, which can activate dopamine receptors by mimicking the effect of the neurotransmitter called – ‘dopamine’.

In case of impulse control disorders, a person will be unable to resist the impulse to perform an action that is harmful to one’s self or others. This belongs to a class of personality disorders. The most common impulse control disorders are intermittent explosive disorder, kleptomania, pyromania, compulsive gambling disorder, and trichotillomania.

Dr. Weintraub told Medscape Neurology & Neurosurgery: “There is a role for a careful medical history pertaining to impulse control disorders in Parkinson’s disease patients, especially those receiving dopamine therapy and perhaps even levodopa.”

By Shilpa C Nangali