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Parkinson medication leads to gambling addiction

  1. Jul 12, 2005 #1


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    This a really strange side-effect: patients who use the much-prescribed Parkinson drug Mirapex (pramipexole) have an increased risk of developing addictions, for instance gambling, sex, or shopping. When the dose of the drug is decreased, the addictions disappear. I wonder what the etiology would be.

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  3. Jul 12, 2005 #2


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    That's a pretty dramatic demonstration of the power thaqt neurochemistry holds over our behavior. As I would have predicted, the Annals paper speaks to the dopamine circuitry that is affected in Parkinson's and the subsequent drug therapy. This circuitry, in addition to it role in motor function, also serves as a reward/reinforcement pathway and this is the function that appears to have been modified by the drug. All the classic reward-mediated behaviors like sex, eating, drug abuse were mentioned as being affected in the case studies from that paper (it's a little harder to study gambling addiction in rodents, although probaly not impossible). The receptor pharmacology/distribution is probably what ultimately defines the condition since this particular drug has a greater affinity for the D3-type of dopamine receptor than for other receptors of that class and thus is able to mimic dopamine activation of these particular receptors at rather low doses.
  4. Jul 12, 2005 #3
    I saw that too. Weird. Maybe this will lead to new trreatments for addictions? One can hope it will give us that sort of insight.

    You probably also saw the link between turmeric and reduced risk of melanoma. Strange! It caught my eye because turmeric was show a year ago to have a strongly beneficial effect against cystic fibrosis. Curcumerin (sp?) appears to be the active agent in both cases.
  5. Jul 12, 2005 #4


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    Curcuma. That's also interesting.
  6. Jul 12, 2005 #5
  7. Jul 12, 2005 #6
    BTW, black pepper, or piperine (which is in black pepper), increases absorption of curcumin by inhibiting the appropriate P450 enzyme (CYP3A4). Without inhibition of CYP3A4, very little curcumin is absorbed:

  8. Jul 12, 2005 #7
    We're having curry tonight!

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