Exploring hypersexual behavior in men with Parkinson's disease: is it compulsive sexual behavior?

J Parkinsons Dis. 2012;2(3):225-34. doi: 10.3233/JPD-2012-012098.


Background: A range of impulse control disorders has been described in Parkinson's disease, including compulsive sexual behavior. Excessive sexual demands of parkinsonian men can lead to considerable tension within the couple. Thorough sexual interviews reveal that these cases may reflect various types of sexual dysfunctions that present as hypersexuality.

Objective: This study aims to analyze cases of presumed and true compulsive male sexual behavior, and to propose a practical tool for clinicians, assisting them with the diagnosis and management of compulsive sexual behavior and other sexual dysfunctions in parkinsonian patients.

Methods: We describe four male patients with Parkinson's disease from the movement disorders clinic, which were referred to the sex therapist as suspected hypersexuality.

Results: The sexual assessment revealed that only one of the cases involved true hypersexuality due to compulsive sexual behavior. The other three presented with erectile dysfunction, difficulties reaching orgasm (delayed ejaculation), and a gap in desire within the couple.

Conclusions: Complaints about hypersexual behavior in patients with Parkinson's disease must be carefully evaluated, involving a multidisciplinary team. A comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic algorithm is suggested.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / diagnosis*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / etiology*