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What are Compulsive Behaviors?

The reward system of the human brain is governed by dopamine, the same chemical that is deficient in Parkinson's. Because the medications for PD stimulate the brain's dopamine systems, some individuals develop addictive and compulsive behaviors called impulse control disorders (ICDs).

The most common addictive behaviors triggered by excessive dopamine include compulsive shopping, compulsive gambling, compulsive sexual urges and binge eating. If unchecked, these behaviors can be costly.

These compulsive behaviors usually result from medication. Dopamine agonists, such as pramipexole (Mirapex), ropinirole (Requip) or rotiogotine transdermal system (Neupro) are most likely to cause compulsive behaviors, but any compound that stimulates the dopamine system can provoke them. If a person with PD develops an uncharacteristic change in behavior of this type, it is important to immediately alert the neurologist, who can often resolve the problem by reducing or changing a medication.

Disclaimer: The information contained in these Frequently Asked Questions have been sourced by reliable, research-based publications. It is to your discretion whether or not to incorporate the education and awareness as guidance into your wellness journey with Parkinson's. The Parkinson Association of Alabama cannot be held liable for the solutions you try, and you should always consult with medical experts before trying anything new or incorporating new matters into your overall wellness plan.

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