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Parkinson’s disease psychosis

Authors Jakel R, Stacy M

Received 9 January 2014

Accepted for publication 21 January 2014

Published 27 March 2014 Volume 2014:4 Pages 41—51


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Rebekah J Jakel,1,2 Mark Stacy3

1Department of Psychiatry, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA; 2Durham Veteran's Administration Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA; 3Department of Neurology, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

Abstract: Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of nigral dopaminergic neurons associated with rigidity, resting tremor, bradykinesia, and postural instability. In addition to the above motor symptoms, nonmotor manifestations are increasingly recognized as part of Parkinson's disease pathology and contribute to overall symptom burden, morbidity, and mortality. Such nonmotor symptoms include autonomic dysfunction, impaired olfaction, gastrointestinal disturbances, and a variety of psychiatric symptoms including psychosis. Psychiatric symptoms may be inherent to the disease process itself, secondary to treatments aimed at restoring dopamine, or related to comorbid mental illness. Given that traditional medications used to treat psychosis are dopaminergic antagonists, pharmacologic treatment of these symptoms carries the risk of worsening the movement disorder, creating a challenge for providers. This review examines current literature regarding psychosis in the context of Parkinson’s disease including risk factors for psychosis, prognosis, and management of these challenging symptoms.

Keywords: antipsychotics, delusions, hallucinations, non-motor symptoms, paranoia

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