Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Original Article

Psychoses in patients with Parkinson's disease; their frequency, phenomenology, and clinical correlates

Kenichi Kashihara, M.D., Manabu Ohno, M.D. and Yasuko Katsu, M.D.

Department of Neurology, Okayama Kyokuto Hospital

The frequency, phenomenology, and risk factors of hallucinations and delusions were investigated in 64 consecutive inpatients with Parkinson's disease. Fifty patients were admitted to our hospital with symptoms related to Parkinson's disease: psychiatric problems 27 (psychosis 22; anxiety 2; depression 2; mania 1): motor symptoms, 20 (wearing-off 5; akinesia 4; freezing 4; postural instability 4; dyskinesia 2; tremor 2; dystonia 1), and sensory symptoms, 3. Fourteen patients were admitted with other medical problems (pneumonia 4; cerebral infarction 3; bone fracture 3; lumbago 2; seizure 1; cat bite 1). Totally 49 patients had psychiatric problems. Psychosis was present in 43 patients, dementia in 10, depression in 8, mania in 1, anxiety in 10, agitation in 6, stereotypy in 2, and hypersexuality in 2.
Of the 43 patients with psychoses, 40 presented with visual hallucinations, 18 with auditory hallucinations, and 23 with delusions. To determine what the clinical correlates with the severity of psychosis were, we divided the patients into 3 groups: the severe group, 22 patients admitted because of psychotic symptoms; the mild group, 21 patients admitted because of problems other than psychosis but presenting psychotic symptoms; and the control group, 21 patients who had no psychotic symptoms. Incidences of auditory hallucinations and delusions were higher in the severe group as compared to the mild group. Patients in the severe group had higher Hoehn-Yahr stages, lower Mini-Mental State Examination scores, decreased H/M ratios of cardiac 123I-MIBG uptake, and lower frequencies of background activity on electroencephalograms. There were no differences in age at admission, age at onset of Parkinson's disease, duration of illness, amounts of levodopa and dopamine agonists received, Hamilton's depression rating scores, and brain MR findings, including atrophy and ischemic changes. Emergence of psychotic symptoms in parkinsonian patients appears to be clearly associated with impaired cognitive function. Therefore, it may be associated with the disease process itself. Terms such as dopaminomimetic or levodopa-induced psychosis may not be appropriate when describing psychosis in Parkinson's disease.

(CLINICA NEUROL, 45: 1|5, 2005)
key words: Parkinson's disease, hallucination, delusion, psychosis, risk factor

(Received: 30-Nov-03)