02:22am Thursday 14 November 2019

Compulsive Behaviors More Common in Parkinson’s Disease Patients Taking Dopamine Agonists

“Dopamine agonist treatment in Parkinson’s disease is associated with a 2- to 3.5-fold increased odds of having an impulse control disorder,” said lead author Daniel Weintraub, MD, associate professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Impulse control disorders were more common in individuals taking dopamine agonists compared with patients not taking dopamine agonists (17.1 percent vs. 6.9 percent).

Researchers noted that dopamine agonists are increasingly used to treat other conditions, and initial case reports suggest that impulse control disorders may occur with dopamine agonist treatment in patients with restless leg syndrome and fibromyalgia. Further studies in these patient populations are needed to assess the link between dopamine agonist treatment and compulsive behaviors.

The study appears in the May issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Please visit the JAMA/Archives press release for more information.



Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $3.6 billion enterprise. 

Penn’s School of Medicine is currently ranked #2 in U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools, and is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $367.2 million awarded in the 2008 fiscal year. 

Penn Medicine’s patient care facilities include:

Additional patient care facilities and services include Penn Medicine at Rittenhouse, a Philadelphia campus offering inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient care in many specialties; as well as a primary care provider network; a faculty practice plan; home care and hospice services; and several multispecialty outpatient facilities across the Philadelphia region.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2009, Penn Medicine provided $733.5 million to benefit our community.

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