Phenomenology and epidemiology of impulsive-compulsive behaviours in Parkinson's disease, atypical Parkinsonian disorders and non-Parkinsonian populations

J Neurol Sci. 2017 Mar 15;374:47-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2016.12.058. Epub 2016 Dec 28.


Impulsive-compulsive behaviours are common, quality of life affecting consequences of dopamine replacement therapy which are well recognized in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. Details of the occurrence and nature of these disorders in the atypical parkinsonian neurodegenerative disorders, and in non-Parkinson's patients prescribed dopaminergic stimulation for other disease processes, are slowly emerging. Here we review what is known about the phenomenology, epidemiology and risk factors for impulsive-compulsive behaviours in Parkinson's disease and in other, less well studied, patient groups. By analyzing the available published data, this review identifies potential clues as to the underlying neurobiological mechanism of these disorders, and further identifies critical gaps yet to be addressed.

Keywords: Atypical Parkinson's; Dopaminergic medication; Impulse control disorders; Impulsive-compulsive behaviours; Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Compulsive Behavior / epidemiology*
  • Compulsive Behavior / etiology
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / physiology*
  • Parkinson Disease* / classification
  • Parkinson Disease* / complications
  • Parkinson Disease* / epidemiology