Hallucinations in Parkinson's disease

Gilles Fénelon

in Hallucinations

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199548590
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754623 | DOI:
Hallucinations in Parkinson's disease

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Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease (Alves et al., 2008). Primarily, PD is a disorder of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway that results in the cardinal motor symptoms of bradykinesia, tremor, and rigidity. However, other dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic transmitter systems are also affected, mediating a large spectrum of non-motor symptoms, including cognitive impairment and neuropsychiatric disturbances. Hallucinations are common in patients with PD. Originally considered as coincidental or end-stage non-specific phenomena, they were later viewed as a mere side effect of anti-parkinsonian treatment, mainly dopaminergic agents, and more recently as the product of complex interactions between treatment- and disease-related factors. Hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms lead to increased disability and poor quality of life in patients (Schrag, 2004) and to greater stress in caregivers (Aarsland et al., 2007). The treatment of hallucinations is often challenging for the clinician, but has become noticeably easier since the introduction of atypical anti-psychotics, especially clozapine.

Chapter.  10540 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Neurology

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