According to a new study untreated Parkinson's disease patients are no more likely to have impulse control disorders like gambling and impulse buying, than people without the disease. A team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the US make these findings.
When looking at newly diagnosed Parkinson's patients who had yet to be treated with drugs targeting the dopamine system, there is no dissimilarity in impulsivity than what found in healthy people without the disease. Researchers suggests their evidence is the strongest so far to suggest it is the drugs used to treat Parkinson's that increase impulse control disorders in patients with the disease.
Impulse control disorders are more serious than infrequently not being able to resist that last piece of cake, or sometimes breaking a resolution not to buy any more shoes this year. People with impulse control disorders may or may not plan the spontaneous actions, which usually satisfy short term wishes. But on the whole, most people with the condition feel they are losing control of their lives and find their disorders highly painful.
Study proves 1 in 5 Parkinson's disease patients have impulse control disorder symptoms. However what this latest study appears to show, is that it is not the disease itself that increases the risk of gambling, shopping, or other impulsivity symptoms. The impulse control measure was particularly developed and validated for use with Parkinson's disease.