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Parkinson’s Disease Medications May Interfere with Impulse Control

According to a new study, one of the side effects of medications commonly prescribed for patients with Parkinson’s disease is a problem with impulse control.

Impulse control disorders are characterized by the individual’s inability to resist impulses or temptations to engage in acts that have the potential to cause harm to him or others. Pathological gambling is an example.  Hypersexuality or sexual addiction is another. In other cases, people may shop excessively or binge eat.

The study, which appeared in the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, found that 14 percent of persons who suffer from Parkinson’s disease experience at least one such side effect. Parkinson’s disease drugs that are specifically linked to such impulse control disorders are pramipexole and ropinirole. These are drugs that are often used to control symptoms of Parkinson’s disease like uncontrollable tremors.

The authors of the study say that family members should watch for impulse control symptoms when their loved ones are on Parkinson’s disease medications, and should inform their doctors is they observe issues.  Look out for changes in the person’s routine behaviors, sudden absences, irritability, anxiety, and other evidence of impulse control failure. For example, an impulse to shop excessively could be identified by large credit card bills. The researchers also warned that it is difficult for people who are suffering from some of these side effects to stop taking the drugs that help control their other symptoms.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive degenerative disorder that is believed to affect as much as 1% of the population. If you suffer from symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and want to know about your eligibility for disability benefits, speak to a lawyer today.