When Parkinson’s meets depression

DOPAMINE agonists began accentuating the impulse control disorder that developed with one patient’s Parkinson’s disease such that she began buying a dozen doughnuts and eating them all at once. 

“And she doesn’t even like doughnuts,” recalls Professor Alex Troster, director of neuropsychology research at Barrow Neurological Institute, and keynote speaker at the recent Australian Psychological Society Conference in Launceston.

Though Parkinson’s disease is often characterised as a motor disease, the cognitive and emotional effects can actually have an even greater impact on functional independence.

“Patients tend to end up in nursing homes not because of motor disability but because of cognitive changes and psychiatric or emotional changes. It increases care giver burden if you don’t attend to non-motor changes, patients and care givers have worse quality of life, and in patients with untreated