Behavioral Disturbances in Patients with Parkinson’sDisease – Screening Patient History by Means of a Questionnaire

Authors: J. Martinková;  P. Valkovič;  J. Benetin
Authors‘ workplace: II. Neurologická klinika LF UK a FNsP Bratislava, Nemocnica akad. ­L. ­Dérera, Bratislava
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2010; 73/106(5): 534-537
Category: Short Communication


Behavioral disturbances associated with Parkinson’s disease include impulse control disorders, punding and dopamine dysregulation syndrome. Despite rising interest in this specific area, behavioral disturbances still remain under-diagnosed. The aim of our study was to verify the effectiveness of a specific questionnaire-based interview in detection of behavioral disturbances in parkinsonian patients.

Subjects and methods:
By means of a specific 8-item questionnaire, we interviewed 80 patients (63 with Parkinson’s disease and 17 with prolactinoma). In Parkinson’s disease patients we also recorded disease phenotype, duration and dopaminergic treatment, as well as any history of anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder or panic disorder. Cognitive function state was assessed by means of MMSE and PANDA questionnaires.

None of prolactinoma patients exhibited behavioral disturbances. Twenty (31.75%) of 63 patients with Parkinson’s disease had a history of some form of behavioral disturbances. Seven of them had more than one behavioral abnormality. All the behavioral disturbances started after initiation of dopaminergic treatment. Patients with behavioral disturbances were younger (61.3 versus 63.3 years; p <0.05), with longer duration of Parkinson’s disease (11.0 versus 6.5 years; p <0.02), and were on higher doses of dopaminergic medication. Furthermore, the group with behavioral disturbances had higher subscores for depression in the PANDA questionnaire (3.8 versus 3.2; p <0.02).

Our study demonstrates that a specific questionnaire-based interview can significantly facilitate the detection of behavioral disturbances in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The prevalence of these behaviors is undoubtedly higher than may be anticipated in routine clinical examination.

Key words:
behavioral disturbances – Parkinson’s disease – impulse control disorders – punding – dopamine dysregulation syndrome


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