Impulsive and compulsive behaviors in Parkinson Study Group (PSG) centers performing deep brain stimulation surgery

J Parkinsons Dis. 2014;4(4):591-8. doi: 10.3233/JPD-140357.


Background: Impulse control disorders (ICDs), dopamine dysregulation syndrome (DDS), and dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome (DAWS) have been reported commonly in Parkinson's disease (PD) populations. The treatment approaches may be widely variable and there is not much information on these syndromes in the setting of deep brain stimulation (DBS).

Objective: To evaluate (1) ICDs, DAWS and DDS pre- and post DBS in PD and (2) to investigate pre-DBS treatment strategies regarding these behaviors among Parkinson Study Group (PSG) centers.

Methods: Forty-eight PSG centers were surveyed on ICDs, DAWS and DDS, as well as on potential relationships to DBS and treatment approaches.

Results: Sixty-seven percent of PSG centers reported that they served a population of over 500 PD patients per year, and 94% of centers performed DBS surgery. Most centers (92%) reported screening for ICDs, DAWS and DDS. Of the centers screening for these symptoms, 13% reported always employing a formal battery of pre-operative tests, 46% of sites inconsistently used a formal battery, while 23% of sites reported never using a formal battery to screen for these symptoms. The estimated numbers of centers observing ICDs, DAWS and DDS pre-operatively in individuals with PD were 71%, 69%, and 69%, respectively. PSG DBS centers observing at least one case of a new de novo occurrence of an ICD, DAWS or DDS after DBS surgery were 67%, 65% and 65%, respectively.

Conclusions: The results suggest that addiction-like syndromes and withdrawal syndromes are prevalent in expert PSG centers performing DBS. Most centers reported screening for these issues without the use of a formal battery, and there were a large number of centers reporting ICDs, DAWS and DDS post-DBS. A single treatment strategy did not emerge.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease; compulsive behaviors; deep brain stimulation; dopamine dysregulation syndrome; impulsive behaviors; psychosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Compulsive Behavior / etiology*
  • Compulsive Behavior / therapy*
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / methods*
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / etiology*
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy