Impulsive and Compulsive Behaviors in Parkinson's Disease: The Norwegian ParkWest Study

J Parkinsons Dis. 2017;7(1):183-191. doi: 10.3233/JPD-160977.


Background: Impulsive and compulsive behaviors (ICBs) are frequent in Parkinson's disease (PD), but data from population-based cohorts is lacking.

Objectives: To determine the frequency and associated demographic, clinical, neuropsychiatric and cognitive features of ICBs in a population-based PD cohort.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 125 patients with PD and 159 age- and gender-matched normal controls recruited from the Norwegian ParkWest study. Participants underwent comprehensive neurological, neuropsychiatric and neuropsychological assessments. ICBs were assessed using the Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in PD short form. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to compare the odds of ICBs between groups and to identify independent correlates of ICBs in PD.

Results: 30.4% of patients reported at least one ICB, with an odds ratio (OR) of 3.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.8-5.9) compared with controls. Multiple ICBs were experienced by 8.8% of patients vs 1.3% of controls (OR 7.6, 95% CI 1.7-34.8). Compared to controls, the ORs of having an ICB were 7.4 (95% CI 2.6-20.9) in patients taking DA without levodopa, 4.6 (95% CI 2.3-9.3) in those treated with both DA and levodopa, and 1.2 (95% CI 0.5-3.2) in patients using levodopa but not DA. In multivariate models, ICB status in patients was independently associated with DA treatment and depressive symptoms, but not with other dopaminergic medications, motor function, or cognitive performance.

Conclusions: Patients with PD treated with DA, but not other dopaminergic medications, have increased odds of having ICBs compared with age- and gender-matched controls. This has implications for individualized patient management and follow-up.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; QUIP; dopamine agonists; impulse control disorders; neuropsychiatry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Compulsive Behavior / chemically induced
  • Compulsive Behavior / epidemiology
  • Compulsive Behavior / physiopathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dopamine Agonists / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*


  • Dopamine Agonists