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.