Commonly prescribed drugs for the treatment of Parkinson's disease have been linked to an increased risk of Impulse Control Disorder (ICD) in patients, according to a new study.

This implies that the drug could bring about compulsive behavior, such as addictive gambling, hyper sexuality, compulsive shopping and binge eating.

The study also finds that men are more prone to ICDs and that they showed more inclination to gambling and hyper sexuality, whereas women indulged in compulsive shopping and eating.

ICDs can lead to detrimental situations such as employment issues, divorce, financial problems, not to forget increased health risks.

A class of Parkinson's drugs called dopamine agonists such as pramipexole and ropinirole, are the ones in caution. These drugs aid in controlling the tremors as well as other Parkinson's disease-related symptoms.

Discontinuing the drug or reducing its intake, can only cause more problems than less, as patients may end up struggling with the withdrawal symptoms. Switching the drug is also not considered a viable option.

According to researchers at Loyola School of Medicine in Maywood, Ill., 14 percent of Parkinson's disease patients experience at least one kind of impulse control disorder that ends up manifesting itself into compulsive gambling, shopping, eating etc.

The authors of the study explain that it's difficult to treat such compulsive disorders, given that first and foremost it's challenging even to recognize the traits of the disorder. Hence, for the most part of it, it goes underreported.

If diagnosed correctly, the treatment for ICDs in patients with Parkinson's disease, include adjusting the dosage of medication, deep brain stimulation and cognitive behavioral therapy which is a type of a counseling technique.

The research was published in the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics.

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