Impulse control disorders in Parkinson and RBD: a longitudinal study of severity.

Fahd Baig, Mark J Kelly, Michael A Lawton, Claudio Ruffmann, Michal Rolinski, Johannes C Klein, Thomas Barber, Christine Lo, Yoav Ben-Shlomo, David Okai, Michele T Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
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OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence, natural history, and risk factors for impulse control behaviors (ICBs) among people with Parkinson disease (PD), those with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), and controls.

METHODS: Participants with early PD (within 3.5 years of diagnosis), those with RBD, and controls were clinically phenotyped and screened for ICBs longitudinally (with the Questionnaire for Impulsivity in Parkinson's Disease). ICB-positive individuals were invited for a semistructured interview, repeated 1 year later. The severity of the ICB was assessed with the Parkinson's Impulse Control Scale. Multiple imputation and regression models were used to estimate ICB prevalence and associations.

RESULTS: Data from 921 cases of PD at baseline, 768 cases at 18 months, and 531 cases at 36 months were included, with 21% to 25% screening positive for ICBs at each visit. Interviews of ICB screen-positive individuals revealed that 10% met formal criteria for impulse control disorders (ICD), while 33% had subsyndromal ICD (ICB symptoms without reaching the formal diagnostic criteria for ICD). When these data were combined through the use of multiple imputation, the prevalence of PD-ICB was estimated at 19.1% (95% confidence interval 10.1-28.2). On follow-up, 24% of cases of subsyndromal ICD had developed full symptoms of an ICD. PD-ICD was associated with dopamine agonist use, motor complications, and apathy but not PD-RBD. ICD prevalence in the RBD group (1%) was similar to that in controls (0.7%).

CONCLUSIONS: ICBs occur in 19.1% of patients with early PD, many persisting or worsening over time. RBD is not associated with increased ICD risk. Psychosocial drivers, including mood and support networks, affect severity.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Issue number7
Early online date16 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the American Academy of Neurology.


  • Parkinson’s disease
  • impulse control disorder
  • REM sleep behaviour disorder
  • cohort study
  • longitudinal


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