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Impulse control disorders and levodopa-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson’s disease

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Voon V, Napier T, Frank M et al (2017) Impulse control disorders and levodopa-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson’s disease: an update. The Lancet: Neurology. 16, 3, 238-250.

Dopaminergic medications, such as levodopa, that increase levels of dopamine in the brain are used in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Unfortunately they are associated with motor and behavioural side effects, including dyskinesias and impulse control disorders.

Dyskinesias, involuntary movements associated with long-term levodopa treatment, occur in up to 80% of patients taking dopaminergic medications. Impulse control disorders, which include gambling, compulsive shopping, compulsive sexual behaviour and binge eating, occur in about 17%.

After initial treatment with levodopa, patients with Parkinson’s disease experience a so-called honeymoon phase, in which therapeutic benefits are observed without major side effects.

In levodopa-treated patients, 80% will develop involuntary


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