Half of consultants don't screen Parkinson's patients for
'devastating' side effects
5 July 2012
People with Parkinson's are being
left unscreened for impulsive and compulsive behaviour - a possible
side effect of some Parkinson's drugs - we reveal today in new
Talking to your specialist or Parkinson's nurse is so very important.
I don't want anyone else to go through what I've been through.
Stephen, diagnosed in 2001
The research was commissioned to time with the launch of our new
information campaign to raise awareness of impulsive and compulsive behaviour.
And it paints a concerning picture about how the condition is
monitored by consultants.
Although only a relatively small number of people experience
this behaviour, it can have a significant impact on the person
affected and those around them.
Raising awareness of pre-screening
82% of consultants questioned could identify someone with
impulsive and compulsive behaviour.
But less than half (48%) pre-screen patients before prescribing
medication such as dopamine agonists -
one of the medications known to cause this type of behaviour.
We are encouraging all healthcare professionals working with
people who are about to start taking Parkinson's medication to be
aware of the signs and pre-screen their patients before
Risk factors for developing this side effect can include:
- being diagnosed with Parkinson’s under the age of 50
- having a family or personal history of risk-taking or impulsive
or compulsive behaviour, such as addictive gambling
We've launched an information tool for healthcare professionals
to assess and monitor their patients with Parkinson's for impulsive
and compulsive behaviour:
Impulsive and compulsive behaviour in
Parkinson's monitoring and information tool
Be aware of the signs
Parkinson's drugs, such as dopamine agonists, are very effective for many people.
But they must be monitored so that people with Parkinson's get the symptomatic relief they need.
Daiga Heisters, Head of Professional Engagement and Education
Daiga Heisters, our head of professional engagement and
"Impulsive and compulsive behaviour can devastate lives and
that's why this information campaign is essential.
"We need all healthcare professionals who work with people with
Parkinson's to be aware of the signs of this type of behaviour and
make sure they discuss this with their patients.
"Parkinson's drugs, such as dopamine agonists, are very
effective for many thousands of people.
"But they must be monitored so that people with Parkinson's get
the symptomatic relief they need."
Find out more
We'll be launching a series of videos soon as the next stage of
our information campaign.
Direct and confidential help and support for people
Share your experiences with others on our
impulsive and compulsive behaviour discussion forum.