Single versus multiple impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease: an ¹¹C-raclopride positron emission tomography study of reward cue-evoked striatal dopamine release

J Neurol. 2015 Jun;262(6):1504-14. doi: 10.1007/s00415-015-7722-7. Epub 2015 Apr 18.


Impulse control disorders (ICDs) are reported in Parkinson's disease (PD) in association with dopaminergic treatment. Approximately 25 % of patients with ICDs have multiple co-occurring ICDs (i.e. more than one diagnosed ICD). The extent to which dopaminergic neurotransmission in PD patients with multiple ICDs differs from those with only one diagnosed ICD is unknown. The aims of this study are: (1) to investigate dopamine neurotransmission in PD patients diagnosed with multiple ICDs, single ICDs and non-ICD controls in response to reward-related visual cues using positron emission tomography with (11)C-raclopride. (2) to compare clinical features of the above three groups. PD individuals with mulitple ICDs (n = 10), single ICD (n = 7) and no ICDs (n = 9) were recruited and underwent two positron emission tomography (PET) scans with (11)C-raclopride: one where they viewed neutral visual cues and the other where they viewed a range of visual cues related to different rewards. Individuals with both multiple ICDs and single ICDs showed significantly greater ventral striatal dopamine release compared to non-ICD PD individuals in response to reward cues, but the two ICD groups did not differ from each other in the extent of dopamine release. Subjects with multiple ICDs were, however, significantly more depressed, and had higher levels of impulsive sensation-seeking compared to subjects with single ICDs and without ICDs. This is the first study to compare dopamine neurotransmission using PET neuroimaging in PD subjects with multiple vs. single ICDs. Our results suggest that striatal dopamine neurotransmission is not directly related to the co-occurrence of ICDs in PD, potentially implicating non-dopaminergic mechanisms linked to depression; and suggest that physicians should be vigilant in managing depression in PD patients with ICDs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Carbon Isotopes / pharmacokinetics
  • Corpus Striatum / diagnostic imaging*
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects
  • Cues*
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders* / diagnostic imaging
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders* / etiology
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology
  • Parkinson Disease / radiotherapy
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Raclopride / pharmacokinetics
  • Reward*


  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Raclopride