Addictive Personality Traits May Result From Dopamine Receptor Agonist Drugs

October 20, 2014 8:06 PM

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Addictive Personality Traits May Result From Dopamine Receptor Agonist Drugs

After starting drug therapy to treat her Parkinson's disease, a 59-year-old woman began stealing from her family to purchase large numbers of scratch-off tickets and to finance her 12-hour days of playing slot machines at the local casino. Now a new study confirms what anecdotal evidence has been saying all along: Dopamine receptor agonist drugs, in particular pramipexole and ropinirole, are linked to impulse control disorders, including gambling, hypersexuality, and compulsive shopping.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that affects the brain processes which regulate our movements, our emotions, and even our ability to experience pleasure and pain. Brain cells containing dopamine are clustered in a midbrain region called the substantia nigra. In Parkinson's disease, the dopamine-trans...

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