Impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease in a Chinese population

Neurosci Lett. 2009 Nov 6;465(1):6-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.06.074. Epub 2009 Jun 26.


Background: Dopamine agonists have been used as first-line treatments for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) during its early stage, and several impulse control disorder (ICD) behaviors have been reported to be associated with their use.

Objective: To investigate the association between ICD behaviors and the use of agonists in Chinese patients with PD and associated risk factors.

Methods: Self-report screening questionnaires were mailed to 400 PD patients treated with anti-parkinsonian drugs in our clinical database and their spouses (served as control group). Those who screened positive for ICD behaviors by questionnaire were further interviewed over the telephone by a movement disorder specialist to confirm the diagnosis.

Results: A total of 11 (3.53%) patients were diagnosed with ICD behaviors as follows: lifetime pathological gambling (1, 0.32%); subclinical or clinical hypersexuality (6, 1.92%); binge eating (1, 0.32%); dopamine dysregulation syndrome (2, 0.64%); and compulsive internet browsing (1, 0.32%). ICD behaviors were associated with an increased mean levodopa equivalent daily dosage and alcohol use (p=0.005 and p=0.002, respectively). Patients using dopamine agonists were significantly (p=0.003) more likely to be diagnosed with an ICD (6.3%) as compared to those who were not (0.6%).

Conclusion: PD patients who took dopamine agonists were more likely to report ICD behaviors in Chinese PD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Antiparkinson Agents / adverse effects
  • Antiparkinson Agents / pharmacology
  • China / epidemiology
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / chemically induced
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Dopamine Agonists / adverse effects
  • Dopamine Agonists / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Levodopa / adverse effects
  • Levodopa / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Levodopa