Should we start a casino to raise funds for Parkinson’s Research?

In a recent post, I sarcastically noted that dopamine agonists (such as mirapex/pramipexole and requip/ropinirole) are a category of drugs that have a surprising efficacy in destroying lives. A recent 5 year study found that 46% of PD patients that were prescribed a dopamine agonist developed impulse control disorders, including gambling addiction, hypersexuality and porn addiction.

After reading the following case study from the January 2019 edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry, I can’t help but wonder if we should build a casino to raise funds for Parkinson’s Disease research. The case study presents the story of a woman who gambled away $1 million over the course of 2-1/2 years after being prescribed pramipexole. At least in our casino, these funds could have been put to good use!

Just think about it…we encourage neurologists to keep prescribing dopamine agonists, while we open a casino. I’m proposing that we call it the Golden Tremor. I can picture it now, with Neil Diamond singing Sweet Caroline in the Dyskenesia Lounge, where martinis are definitely shaken, not stirred.

If you’re willing to invest, contact me immediately.

Seriously, there is no doubt that sometimes they are the best choice for an individual, but anyone taking these drugs needs to be aware of the potential for developing impulse control disorders, and they need to advise friends and family of this possibility, because when the time comes, they may not be able to control themselves.

For more on the 5 year study that I mentioned, see:
https://parkinson.fit/forums/topic/no-harm-in-using-levodopa-early-so-please-dont-prescribe-a-dopamine-agonist/

For the recent case study I referenced, see:
https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.18040465