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Int J Neurosci. 2012 Mar;122(3):145-53. doi: 10.3109/00207454.2011.633722. Epub 2011 Dec 6.

Addiction-like manifestations and Parkinson's disease: a large single center 9-year experience.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA.



Characterize potential risk factors and the relationship of dopamine agonist (DA) withdrawal syndrome (DAWS), dopamine dysregulation syndrome (DDS), and impulse control disorders (ICDs) in Parkinson's disease (PD).


A retrospective chart review categorized cases into three groups: DAWS, DDS, and ICDs.


A total of 1,040 subjects met inclusion criteria. There were 332 subjects with a history of tapering DAs and 26 (7.8%) developed DAWS. Fourteen (1.3%) and 89 (8.6%) met the criteria for both DDS and ICD. Subjects with DAWS, DDS, and ICDs had a higher baseline dose of DA, levodopa, and total dopaminergic medication (p < .05), compared to those without the three conditions. DDS was found to be related to the DAWS group (p < .001). When comparing to the PD population without DDS, younger age at onset of PD (p = .027), presence of DAWS (p < .001), ICDs (p = .003), and punding (p = .042) were all correlated with the DDS group, while male sex (p = .045), younger age at onset of PD (p < .001), presence of DAWS (p < .001), and presence of DDS (p = .001) and punding (p < .001) were related to the ICD group.


There was a strong relationship between DAWS, DDS, and ICD in this large PD cohort. Dopaminergic therapy in a subset of PD patients was strongly associated with addiction-like behavioral issues.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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