Congratulations to Robert Eisinger, Adolfo Ramirez-Zamora, Samuel Carbunaru, Brandon Ptak, Zhognxing Peng-Chen, Michael Okun, and Aysegul Gunduz on the publication of “Medications, Deep Brain Stimulation, and Other Factors Influencing Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson’s disease” which was published in the current issue of Frontiers in Neurology.
Impulse control disorders (ICDs) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) have a high cumulative incidence and negatively impact quality of life. ICDs are influenced by a complex interaction of multiple factors. Although it is now well-recognized that dopaminergic treatments and especially dopamine agonists underpin many ICDs, medications alone are not the sole cause. Susceptibility to ICD is increased in the setting of PD. While causality can be challenging to ascertain, a wide range of modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors have been linked to ICDs. Common characteristics of PD patients with ICDs have been consistently identified across many studies; for example, males with an early age of PD onset and dopamine agonist use have a higher risk of ICD. However, not all cases of ICDs in PD can be directly attributable to dopamine, and studies have concluded that additional factors such as genetics, smoking, and/or depression may be more predictive. Beyond dopamine, other ICD associations have been described but remain difficult to explain, including deep brain stimulation surgery, especially in the setting of a reduction in dopaminergic medication use. In this review, we will summarize the demographic, genetic, behavioral, and clinical contributions potentially influencing ICD onset in PD. These associations may inspire future preventative or therapeutic strategies.