Studies have reported an increase in the incidence of impulse control disorders (ICDs) in patient groups treated with dopamine agonists (DAAs), especially in Parkinson disease (PD). However, very few studies have reported on ICDs in individuals with a prolactinoma who were treated with DAAs.
To see whether a DAA by itself causes ICDs in individuals with a prolactinoma by controlling the susceptibility to impulsivity by excluding individuals with other risk factors for ICDs.
We compared the performance of 31 individuals with a prolactinoma receiving DAA therapy (DAA+) on various behavioral scales and the Iowa gambling task (IGT), a neuropsychological instrument that measures risky decision-making, with the performance of 20 individuals with a prolactinoma who were not on DAA therapy (DAA−) and 30 healthy controls (HC).
There was no significant difference among the groups concerning performance on the Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale—V, Minnesota Impulse Disorders Interview, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale—11, or IGT. No correlation was found between the scores on these scales and the duration or dose of DAA in the DAA+ group. The incidence of ICDs was 25.8% in the DAA+ group, 15% in the DAA− group, and 16.7% in the HC. The differences among the groups did not reach statistical significance.
Individuals who are under treatment with low-dose, D2-selective DAAs for a prolactinoma do not face an increased risk for ICDs, especially when they are carefully screened for any psychiatric comorbidity that may also display impulsivity.