|Sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease. Thatís the startling new discovery U.S Neurologists made about the drug, Pramipexole used to treat patients with Parkinsonís disease. Patients on this drug, which is prescribed to improve motor skills, were three times as likely to have severe gambling problems as the average Parkinson's patient, the report by Dr. Mark Stacy revealed.|
How does the drug work? Pramipexole essentially increases dopamine levels (a brain chemical that enables people to perform smooth body movements) supplementing the deficit in Parkinsonís disease patients who do not produce enough of it.
Dopamine is essential for the brain for mobility, but too much of it affects judgment of risk versus reward, leading to problems like gambling.
According to Dr.Stacyís study there was a streak of rash gambling tendency after dosages of Pramipexole were increased at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center in Phoenix, Ariz. Though the studyís focus was on gambling, the side affects of the drug could spill over to say, obsessive online shopping.
The report is not as disturbing as it sounds says Dr. Robert Chen, a Parkinson's researcher at the University of Toronto. He says the findings are 'quite plausible,' and isnít convinced gambling is related to the drug or the disease, since the disease can cause cognitive impairment too.
Also in the one-year study of 1,884 Parkinson's patients at the research centre only nine patients were identified with pathological gambling, which essentially is an extremely a small and rare number of those affected, but seven of those patients took to gambling in a month of an increased dosage of the dopamine, though none of them were gamblers before.