Pramipexole and other direct dopamine agonist medications have been implicated in the development of impulsive behavior such as pathological gambling among those taking the drug to control symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or restless leg syndrome. Few laboratory studies examining pramipexole’s effects on gambling-like behavior have been conducted.
The present study used a rodent model approximating some aspects of human gambling to examine within-subject effects of acute pramipexole (0.03, 0.1, 0.18, & 0.3 mg/kg) on rat’s choices to earn food reinforcement by completing variable-ratio (i.e., gambling-like) or fixed-ratio response requirements.
In a condition in which the variable-ratio alternative was rarely selected, all but the lowest dose of pramipexole significantly increased choice of the variable-ratio alternative (an average of 15% above saline).. The same doses did not affect choice significantly in a control condition designed to evaluate the involvement of nonspecific drug effects. Pramipexole increased latencies to initiate trials (+ 9.12 s) and to begin response runs on forced-choice trials (variable-ratio: + 0.21 s; fixed-ratio: + 0.88 s), but did not affect measures of response perseveration (conditional probabilities of “staying”).
The findings are consistent with clinical reports linking pramipexole to the expression of increased gambling in humans. Results are discussed in the context of neurobehavioral evidence suggesting that dopamine agonists increase sensitivity to reward delay and disrupt appropriate feedback from negative outcomes.
pramipexole; dopamine agonist; gambling; impulsive behavior; Parkinson’s disease; rat
Pramipexole (PPX) is a dopamine agonist medication that has been implicated in the development of pathological gambling and other impulse control disorders. Johnson, Madden, Brewer, Pinkston, and Fowler (2011) reported that PPX increased male rats’ preference for gambling-like rewards (those arranged according to a variable-ratio schedule) over predictable rewards (those obtained from a fixed-ratio schedule). The present experiment explored the possibility that Johnson et al. underestimated the effects of PPX on gambling-like choices by constraining their rats’ daily income. In the present experiment conducted in a closed economy, PPX produced a dose-related increase in choice of the gambling-like alternative. In a control condition, PPX did not disrupt choice, suggesting the increased preference for gambling-like rewards was not due to nonspecific drug effects. Our findings are qualitatively consistent with those of Johnson et al., although the dose-related effect and larger effect size in the current study suggest that the effect of PPX on gambling-like choices is more pronounced when income was not constrained. This finding is consistent with clinical reports suggesting PPX is related to the development of problem gambling in humans.
pramipexole; dopamine agonist; gambling; Parkinson’s disease; rat
Impulsivity is widely regarded as a multidimensional trait that encompasses two or more distinct patterns of behavior, and dopaminergic systems are implicated in the expression of impulsive behavior in both humans and animals. Impulsive choice, or the tendency to choose rewards associated with relatively little or no delay, has been extensively studied in humans and animals using delay discounting tasks. Here, delay discounting procedures were used to assess the effects of receptor-selective dopaminergic agonists, antagonists, and dopamine transporter ligands on choices of immediate versus delayed sucrose pellets. The effects of d-amphetamine, GBR 12909, apomorphine, SKF 81297, sumanirole, pramipexole, ABT-724, SCH 23390, L-741,626, PG01037, and L-745,870 were assessed in 24 Sprague Dawley rats. The only drugs to affect impulsive choice selectively without altering undelayed choice were the D1-like antagonist SCH 23390 (0.01 mg/kg) and the D4 partial agonist ABT-724 (3.2 mg/kg), which both increased impulsive choice. The shared effects of these compounds may be explained by their localization within the prefrontal cortex on different groups of neurons. None of the selective agonists and antagonists tested reduced impulsive choice, so further research is needed to determine if direct dopaminergic agonists or antagonists may be therapeutically useful in the treatment of impulse-control disorders.
Delay discounting; inter-temporal choice; impulsive choice; impulsivity; self control; dopamine; SCH 23390; ABT-724; rat
The dopamine agonists ropinirole and pramipexole exhibit highly specific affinity for the cerebral dopamine D3 receptor. Use of these medications in Parkinson's disease has been complicated by the emergence of pathologic behavioral patterns such as hypersexuality, pathologic gambling, excessive hobbying, and other circumscribed obsessive-compulsive disorders of impulse control in people having no history of such disorders. These behavioral changes typically remit following discontinuation of the medication, further demonstrating a causal relationship. Expression of the D3 receptor is particularly rich within the limbic system, where it plays an important role in modulating the physiologic and emotional experience of novelty, reward, and risk assessment. Converging neuroanatomical, physiological, and behavioral science data suggest the high D3 affinity of these medications as the basis for these behavioral changes. These observations suggest the D3 receptor as a therapeutic target for obsessive-compulsive disorder and substance abuse, and improved understanding of D3 receptor function may aid drug design of future atypical antipsychotics.
The dopamine agonist pramipexole (PPX) can increase impulsiveness, and PPX therapy for neurological diseases (Parkinson's disease (PD) and restless leg syndrome) is associated with impulse control disorders (ICDs) in subpopulations of treated patients. A commonly reported ICD is pathological gambling of which risk taking is a prominent feature. Probability discounting is a measurable aspect of risk taking. We recently developed a probability discounting paradigm wherein intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) serves as the positive reinforcer. Here we used this paradigm to determine the effects of PPX on discounting. We included assessments of a rodent model of PD, wherein 6-OHDA was injected into the dorsolateral striatum of both hemispheres, which produced persistent PD-like deficits in posture adjustment. Rats were trained to perform ICSS-mediated probability discounting, in which PD-like and control groups exhibited similar profiles. Rats were treated twice daily for 2 weeks with 2 mg/kg (±)PPX (ie, 1 mg/kg of the active form), a dose that improved lesion-induced motor deficits. In both groups, (±)PPX increased discounting; preference for the large reinforcer was enhanced 30–45% at the most uncertain probabilities. Tolerance did not develop with repeated treatments. Increased discounting subsided within 2 weeks of (±)PPX cessation, and re-exposure to (±)PPX reinstated heightened discounting. Such findings emulate the clinical scenario; therefore, ICSS for discounting assessments in rats exhibited high face validity. This model should prove useful in medication development where assessment of the propensity of a putative therapy to induce risk-taking behaviors is of interest.
pramipexole; probability discounting; 6-OHDA; gambling; rat; reward; animal models; dopamine; addiction & substance abuse; movement disorders; pramipexole; probability discounting; 6-OHDA; gambling; rat
In patients with Parkinson's disease, aberrant or excessive dopaminergic stimulation is commonly indicated as the trigger factor in unmasking impulse control disorders (ICDs) such as pathological gambling. We had the opportunity to follow a patient who experienced Parkinson's disease 7 years ago when he was using pramipexole and again, recently, when he was treated with levodopa (L-dopa) and low frequency stimulation of the nucleus of the pedunculopontine tegmentus (PPTg) but no dopamine agonists. The same patient had shown, when studied with fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography in the condition PPTg-ON, a peculiar increased activity in the left ventral striatum. This case report confirms that, in a predisposed personality, ICD may arise from the perturbation of endogenous pathways, which connect the brainstem to the basal ganglia.
Pramipexole is a non-ergot dopamine agonist shown to be efficacious in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). This review addresses the literature concerning pramipexole’s efficacy in treating motor and non-motor symptoms in PD, its impact on the development of dyskinesias and response fluctuations, the issue of neuroprotection, and the risk for developing adverse events such as increased somnolence, attacks of sudden onset of sleep, cardiac valvulopathy and impulse control disturbances.
pramipexole; Parkinson’s disease; efficacy; adverse events
Impulse control disorders are common in Parkinson's; disease, occurring in 13.6% of patients. Using a pharmacological manipulation and a novel risk taking task while performing functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated the relationship between dopamine agonists and risk taking in patients with Parkinson's; disease with and without impulse control disorders. During functional magnetic resonance imaging, subjects chose between two choices of equal expected value: a ‘Sure’ choice and a ‘Gamble’ choice of moderate risk. To commence each trial, in the ‘Gain’ condition, individuals started at $0 and in the ‘Loss’ condition individuals started at −$50 below the ‘Sure’ amount. The difference between the maximum and minimum outcomes from each gamble (i.e. range) was used as an index of risk (‘Gamble Risk’). Sixteen healthy volunteers were behaviourally tested. Fourteen impulse control disorder (problem gambling or compulsive shopping) and 14 matched Parkinson's; disease controls were tested ON and OFF dopamine agonists. Patients with impulse control disorder made more risky choices in the ‘Gain’ relative to the ‘Loss’ condition along with decreased orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate activity, with the opposite observed in Parkinson's; disease controls. In patients with impulse control disorder, dopamine agonists were associated with enhanced sensitivity to risk along with decreased ventral striatal activity again with the opposite in Parkinson's; disease controls. Patients with impulse control disorder appear to have a bias towards risky choices independent of the effect of loss aversion. Dopamine agonists enhance sensitivity to risk in patients with impulse control disorder possibly by impairing risk evaluation in the striatum. Our results provide a potential explanation of why dopamine agonists may lead to an unconscious bias towards risk in susceptible individuals.
Parkinson's; disease; dopamine; gambling; decision making; risk
Addiction and many other disorders are linked to impulsivity, where a suboptimal choice is preferred when it is immediately available. One solution to impulsivity is precommitment: constraining one's future to avoid being offered a suboptimal choice. A form of impulsivity can be measured experimentally by offering a choice between a smaller reward delivered sooner and a larger reward delivered later. Impulsive subjects are more likely to select the smaller-sooner choice; however, when offered an option to precommit, even impulsive subjects can precommit to the larger-later choice. To precommit or not is a decision between two conditions: (A) the original choice (smaller-sooner vs. larger-later), and (B) a new condition with only larger-later available. It has been observed that precommitment appears as a consequence of the preference reversal inherent in non-exponential delay-discounting. Here we show that most models of hyperbolic discounting cannot precommit, but a distributed model of hyperbolic discounting does precommit. Using this model, we find (1) faster discounters may be more or less likely than slow discounters to precommit, depending on the precommitment delay, (2) for a constant smaller-sooner vs. larger-later preference, a higher ratio of larger reward to smaller reward increases the probability of precommitment, and (3) precommitment is highly sensitive to the shape of the discount curve. These predictions imply that manipulations that alter the discount curve, such as diet or context, may qualitatively affect precommitment.
precommitment; delay discounting; reinforcement learning; hyperbolic discounting; decision making; impulsivity; addiction
Pramipexole, the most commonly prescribed dopamine agonist worldwide, meanwhile serves as a reference substance for evaluation of new drugs. Based on numerous clinical data and vast experiences, efficacy and safety profiles of this non-ergoline dopamine agonist are well characterized. Since October 2009, an extended-release formulation of pramipexole has been available for symptomatic treatment of Parkinson's disease. Pramipexole administration can be cut down from three times to once a day due to the newly developed extended-release formulation. This is considerable progress in regard to minimizing pill burden and enhancing compliance. Moreover, the 24 h continuous drug release of the once-daily extended-release formulation results in fewer fluctuations in plasma concentrations over time compared to immediate-release pramipexole, given three times daily. The present study summarizes pharmacokinetics and all essential pharmacological and clinical characteristics of the extended-release formulation. In addition, it provides all study data, available so far, with regard to transition and de-novo administration of extended-release formulation for patients with Parkinson's disease. It further compares efficacy and safety data of immediate-release pramipexole with the extended-release formulation of pramipexole.
The neurobehavioral underpinnings of pathological gambling are not well understood. Insight might be gained by understanding pharmacological effects on the reward system in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Treatment with dopamine agonists (DAs) has been associated with pathological gambling in PD patients. However, how DAs are involved in the development of this form of addiction is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that tonic stimulation of dopamine receptors specifically desensitizes the dopaminergic reward system by preventing decreases in dopaminergic transmission that occurs with negative feedback. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we studied PD patients during three sessions of a probabilistic reward task in random order: off medication, after levodopa (LD) treatment, and after an equivalent dose of DA (pramipexole). For each trial, a reward prediction error value was computed using outcome, stake, and probability. Pramipexole specifically changed activity of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in two ways that were both associated with increased risk taking in an out-of-magnet task. Outcome-induced activations were generally higher with pramipexole compared with LD or off medication. In addition, only pramipexole greatly diminished trial-by-trial correlation with reward prediction error values. Further analysis yielded that this resulted mainly from impaired deactivation in trials with negative errors in reward prediction. We propose that DAs prevent pauses in dopamine transmission and thereby impair the negative reinforcing effect of losing. Our findings raise the question of whether pathological gambling may in part stem from an impaired capacity of the OFC to guide behavior when facing negative consequences.
PMID: 19741594 CAMSID: cams1534
fMRI; impulse control disorder; dopamine agonist; reward; addiction; reinforcement
Dopaminergic medication-related Impulse Control Disorders (ICDs) such as pathological gambling and compulsive shopping have been reported in Parkinson disease (PD).
We hypothesized that dopamine agonists (DAs) would be associated with greater impulsive choice, or greater discounting of delayed rewards, in PD patients with ICDs (PDI).
Fourteen PDI patients, 14 PD controls without ICDs and 16 medication-free matched normal controls were tested on (i) the Experiential Discounting Task (EDT), a feedback-based intertemporal choice task, (ii) spatial working memory and (iii) attentional set shifting. The EDT was used to assess impulsivity choice (hyperbolic K-value), reaction time (RT) and decision conflict RT (the RT difference between high conflict and low conflict choices). PDI patients and PD controls were tested on and off DA.
On the EDT, there was a group by medication interaction effect [F(1,26)=5.62; p=0.03] with pairwise analyses demonstrating that DA status was associated with increased impulsive choice in PDI patients (p=0.02) but not in PD controls (p=0.37). PDI patients also had faster RT compared to PD controls F(1,26)=7.51 p=0.01]. DA status was associated with shorter RT [F(3,24)=8.39, p=0.001] and decision conflict RT [F(1,26)=6.16, p=0.02] in PDI patients but not in PD controls. There were no correlations between different measures of impulsivity. PDI patients on DA had greater spatial working memory impairments compared to PD controls on DA (t=2.13, df=26, p=0.04).
Greater impulsive choice, faster RT, faster decision conflict RT and executive dysfunction may contribute to ICDs in PD.
dopamine agonist; gambling; impulse control; Parkinson disease; delay discounting
Impulsive choice can be defined as temporary preference for a smaller-sooner reward (SS) over a larger-later reward (LL). Hyperbolic discounting implies that impulsive choices will occur less when organisms choose between a series of SSs versus LLs all at once than when they choose between single SS versus LL pairs. Eight rats were exposed to two conditions of an intertemporal choice paradigm using sucrose solution as reward. In both conditions, the LL was 150 microl delayed by 3 s, while the SS was an immediate reward that ranged from 25-150 microl across sessions. Preference for the LL was greater when the chosen reward was automatically delivered three times in succession (bundled) than when it was chosen singly and delivered after each choice. For each of the 8 rats, the estimated SS amount that produced indifference was higher in the bundled condition than in the single condition. Because bundling in humans may be based on the perception that one's current choice is predictive of future choices, the data presented here may demonstrate an important building block of self-control.
It is well known that acute challenges with psychostimulants such as amphetamine affect impulsive behavior. We here studied the pharmacology underlying the effects of amphetamine in two rat models of impulsivity, the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) and the delayed reward task (DRT), providing measures of inhibitory control, an aspect of impulsive action, and impulsive choice, respectively. We focused on the role of cannabinoid CB1 receptor activation in amphetamine-induced impulsivity as there is evidence that acute challenges with psychostimulants activate the endogenous cannabinoid system, and CB1 receptor activity modulates impulsivity in both rodents and humans. Results showed that pretreatment with either the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist SR141716A or the neutral CB1 receptor antagonist O-2050 dose-dependently improved baseline inhibitory control in the 5-CSRTT. Moreover, both compounds similarly attenuated amphetamine-induced inhibitory control deficits, suggesting that CB1 receptor activation by endogenously released cannabinoids mediates this aspect of impulsive action. Direct CB1 receptor activation by Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) did, however, not affect inhibitory control. Although neither SR141716A nor O-2050 affected baseline impulsive choice in the DRT, both ligands completely prevented amphetamine-induced reductions in impulsive decision making, indicating that CB1 receptor activity may decrease this form of impulsivity. Indeed, acute Δ9-THC was found to reduce impulsive choice in a CB1 receptor-dependent way. Together, these results indicate an important, though complex role for cannabinoid CB1 receptor activity in the regulation of impulsive action and impulsive choice as well as the opposite effects amphetamine has on both forms of impulsive behavior.
Bipolar disorder and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) overlap in clinical characteristics and behavioral consequences. Impulsivity is prominent in both, but there is little information on how specific mechanisms of impulsivity differentiate, bridge, or underlie the disorders.
Subjects, all males, were controls (n=46), bipolar disorder without cluster B personality disorder (n=21), ASPD without bipolar disorder (n=50), and bipolar disorder with ASPD (n=16). Impulsivity measures were the Immediate Memory Task (IMT), a continuous performance test of response inhibition measuring ability to evaluate a stimulus before responding, and the Two Choice Impulsivity Paradigm (TCIP), a choice between smaller-sooner and larger-later reward. Data were analyzed using general linear models analysis.
Subjects with bipolar disorder had fewer IMT correct detections and slower reaction times than controls. Reaction times were faster with combined diagnoses than in bipolar disorder alone. TCIP responding in either diagnosis alone resembled controls, but was more impulsive in combined disorders. These differences persisted after correction for age and education, which had significant independent effects. In combined ASPD and bipolar disorder, increased reaction speed, impulsive response bias, and reward-delay impulsivity occurred independent of substance-use disorder history.
Impulsivity was increased in the combined disorders over either disorder alone. Results were consistent with at least partially distinct mechanisms of impulsivity in ASPD and bipolar disorder. Compensatory mechanisms for impulsivity in uncomplicated ASPD or bipolar disorder appear to be compromised or lost when the disorders are combined.
bipolar disorder; antisocial personality disorder; personality disorders; substance-related disorders; impulsive behavior; continuous performance test; attention; reward; inhibition (psychology); recurrence
The use of D2/D3 dopaminergic agonists in Parkinson's disease (PD) may lead to pathological gambling. In a placebo-controlled double-blind study in healthy volunteers, we observed riskier choices in a lottery task after administration of the D3 receptor-preferring agonist pramipexole thus mimicking risk-taking behavior in PD. Moreover, we demonstrate decreased activation in the rostral basal ganglia and midbrain, key structures of the reward system, following unexpected high gains and therefore propose that pathological gambling in PD results from the need to seek higher rewards to overcome the blunted response in this system.
Clinical evidence suggests that after initiation of dopaminergic medications some patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) develop psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the neurocognitive basis of this phenomenon can be defined as the formation of arbitrary and illusory associations between conditioned stimuli and reward signals, called aberrant salience. Young, never-medicated PD patients and matched controls were assessed on a speeded reaction time task in which the probe stimulus was preceded by conditioned stimuli that could signal monetary reward by color or shape. The patients and controls were re-evaluated after 12 weeks during which the patients received a dopamine agonist (pramipexole or ropinirole). Results indicated that dopamine agonists increased both adaptive and aberrant salience in PD patients, that is, formation of real and illusory associations between conditioned stimuli and reward, respectively. This effect was present when associations were assessed by means of faster responding after conditioned stimuli signaling reward (implicit salience) and overt rating of stimulus–reward links (explicit salience). However, unusual feelings and experiences, which are subclinical manifestations of psychotic-like symptoms, were specifically related to irrelevant and illusory stimulus–reward associations (aberrant salience) in PD patients receiving dopamine agonists. The learning of relevant and real stimulus–reward associations (adaptive salience) was not related to unusual experiences. These results suggest that dopamine agonists may increase psychotic-like experiences in young patients with PD, possibly by facilitating dopaminergic transmission in the ventral striatum, which results in aberrant associations between conditioned stimuli and reward.
Parkinson's disease; dopamine agonists; psychosis; reward; salience; cognition; neuropharmacology; dopamine; cognition; learning and memory; Parkinson's disease; reward; dopamine agonists
Dopamine D2-like agonists maintain responding when substituted for cocaine in laboratory animals. However, these effects appear to be mediated by an interaction with stimuli that were previously paired with cocaine reinforcement (CS).
To evaluate the extent to which the pramipexole-maintained and -induced responding are influenced by cocaine-paired stimuli.
Rats were trained to nosepoke for cocaine under fixed ratio 1 (FR1) or progressive ratio (PR) schedules of reinforcement. In FR1-trained rats, pramipexole was substituted for cocaine with injections either paired with CSs, or delivered in their absence. The capacity of experimenter-administered pramipexole to induce FR1 and PR responding for CS presentation was evaluated. The effects of altering stimulus conditions, as well as pretreatments with D2- (L-741,626) and D3-preferring (PG01037) antagonists on pramipexole-induced PR responding were also evaluated.
When substituted for cocaine, pramipexole maintained responding at high rates when injections were paired with CSs, but low rates when CSs were omitted. Similarly, experimenter-administered pramipexole induced dose-dependent increases in FR1 or PR responding, with high rates of responding observed when the CS was presented, and low rates of responding when CS presentation was omitted. D2 and D3 antagonists differentially affected pramipexole-induced PR responding, with L-741,626 and PG01037 producing rightward, and downward shifts in the dose-response curve for CS-maintained responding, respectively.
These data indicate that pramipexole is capable of enhancing the reinforcing effectiveness of conditioned stimuli, and raise the possibility that similar mechanisms are responsible for the increased occurrence of impulse control disorders in patients being treated with pramipexole.
Impulsive individuals make risky choices, motivated more by immediate reward than potential long-term negative consequences. We used event-related potentials to study the impact of reward and punishment sensitivity in impulsivity on risky decision-making in a two-card choice task in groups of 14 high and 14 low impulsive undergraduates formed by a median split on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale score. The high impulsives had a larger P3 and the low impulsives a smaller P3 to the cards when making a low-risk choice suggesting that the high-risk option was the default choice of the high impulsives and the low-risk choice the default for the low impulsives. The low, but not the high impulsives had a larger error-related negativity following high-risk choice indicating that the low impulsives evaluated the risky choice as a poor decision. The results indicate that high impulsive individuals are biased towards immediate reward during option evaluation but are less sensitive to the negative consequences of their choices.
Impulsivity; decision-making; event-related potentials; error related negativity; P3
Despite the strong association between impulsivity and addiction in humans, it is still a matter of debate whether impulsive choice predisposes to, or results from, drug dependence. Furthermore, it is unknown whether treating impulsivity can protect against relapse propensity. Therefore, this study explored the bidirectional relationship between impulsive choice and cocaine taking and seeking in rat behavioral models. In experiment 1, to determine whether impulsive choice predisposes to cocaine taking or seeking, rats were selected based on trait impulsivity in a delayed reward task and subsequently compared on various stages of cocaine self-administration (SA). To examine the consequence of cocaine intake on impulsive choice, impulsivity was monitored once a week throughout various stages of cocaine SA. To determine whether treating impulsive choice can protect against relapse propensity, in experiment 2, impulsive choice was manipulated by pharmacological interventions and cocaine-associated contextual cues. Trait impulsive choice as determined in experiment 1 predicted high extinction resistance and enhanced propensity to context-induced relapse in the cocaine SA model, whereas cocaine intake did not alter impulsive choice. Furthermore, acute changes in impulsive choice were not related to rates of context-induced relapse. Taken together, the current data indicate that trait impulsive choice predicts persistent cocaine seeking during extinction and enhanced propensity to relapse, whereas acute manipulations of impulsive choice had no favorable outcomes on relapse measures. These observations suggest that trait impulsivity can be used as a predictive factor for addiction liability, but treating this impulsivity does not necessarily protect against relapse.
impulsivity; cocaine; addiction; methylphenidate; SCH-23390; reinstatement; addiction & substance abuse; animal models; cognition; psychostimulants; impulsivity; cocaine; methylphenidate; SCH-23390; reinstatement
Rats were given a choice between a smaller, immediately available reward and a larger reward available after a delay. In one phase, the reward was food and in another phase, the reward was water. Constant delays were added between the choice presentation and the delivery of the reward alternatives. As the time between choice and reward delivery increased from 0 to 25 s, all rats (except one in the water phase) reversed their preference from the smaller, sooner alternative to the larger, later alternative. These findings extend the generality of the preference-reversal animal model to qualitatively different reinforcers. Furthermore, the presence of both impulsive and self-control choices within the same animal is consistent with the view that self-control may be understood as choice behavior, and that species differences in self-control may be differences in degree, not kind.
Maladaptive impulsivity is a core symptom in various psychiatric disorders. However, there is only limited evidence available on whether different measures of impulsivity represent largely unrelated aspects or a unitary construct. In a cross-species translational study, thirty rats were trained in impulsive choice (delayed reward task) and impulsive action (five-choice serial reaction time task) paradigms. The correlation between those measures was assessed during baseline performance and after pharmacological manipulations with the psychostimulant amphetamine and the norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine. In parallel, to validate the animal data, 101 human subjects performed analogous measures of impulsive choice (delay discounting task, DDT) and impulsive action (immediate and delayed memory task, IMT/DMT). Moreover, all subjects completed the Stop Signal Task (SST, as an additional measure of impulsive action) and filled out the Barratt impulsiveness scale (BIS-11). Correlations between DDT and IMT/DMT were determined and a principal component analysis was performed on all human measures of impulsivity. In both rats and humans measures of impulsive choice and impulsive action did not correlate. In rats the within-subject pharmacological effects of amphetamine and atomoxetine did not correlate between tasks, suggesting distinct underlying neural correlates. Furthermore, in humans, principal component analysis identified three independent factors: (1) self-reported impulsivity (BIS-11); (2) impulsive action (IMT/DMT and SST); (3) impulsive choice (DDT). This is the first study directly comparing aspects of impulsivity using a cross-species translational approach. The present data reveal the non-unitary nature of impulsivity on a behavioral and pharmacological level. Collectively, this warrants a stronger focus on the relative contribution of distinct forms of impulsivity in psychopathology.
The term delay aversion has been used both to describe a behavioural tendency of greater preference for smaller-immediate over larger-delayed rewards (choice impulsivity), and to refer to a secondary explanatory construct put forward by delay aversion theory. In this study we examined the association of ADHD symptoms with choice impulsivity and tested the specific hypothesis derived from delay aversion theory.
1062 children aged 7.90-10.90 years (49% female) made a fixed number of repeated choices between a smaller reward delivered immediately and a larger reward delivered after a delay (choice-delay task), under two conditions (including and excluding a post-reward delay). We assessed the unique contribution of each ADHD symptom dimension to the prediction of choice impulsivity and delay aversion, controlling for age (or age and IQ). Gender effects were examined.
Inattention ratings uniquely predicted preference for smaller-immediate rewards under both task conditions for both genders. An index of delay aversion was associated with inattention only in boys; the effect size was small yet significant. Hyperactivity-impulsivity ratings were negatively associated with choice impulsivity in girls in the post-reward delay condition, whereas no significant association with hyperactivity-impulsivity ratings was observed in boys. Categorical analyses using groups with high ADHD symptoms yielded similar results.
This is the first study to report a unique association between inattention symptoms and behavioural measures of choice impulsivity and delay aversion. The findings indicate the importance of the primary constitutional processes that underlie choice impulsivity and their potential role in behavioural inattention. Understanding the behavioural and brain processes underlying choice impulsivity may lead to the improved targeting of behavioural and pharmacological interventions.
ADHD; inattention; hyperactivity-impulsivity; delay aversion; choice impulsivity
Patients with Parkinson's disease have an elevated risk of pneumonia and randomized trials suggest that this risk may be increased with the dopamine agonist pramipexole. It is uncertain whether pramipexole or other dopamine agonists increase the risk of pneumonia.
We used the United Kingdom's General Practice Research Database (GPRD) to identify users of anti-parkinsonian drugs, 40–89 years of age, between 1997 and 2009. Using a nested case–control approach, all incident cases hospitalised for pneumonia were matched with up to ten controls selected among the cohort members. Rate ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of pneumonia associated with current use of dopamine agonists were estimated using conditional logistic regression, adjusted for covariates.
The cohort included 13,183 users of anti-parkinsonian drugs, with 1,835 newly diagnosed with pneumonia during follow-up (rate 40.9 per 1,000 per year). The rate of pneumonia was not increased with the current use of pramipexole (RR 0.76; 95% CI: 0.57-1.02), compared with no use. The use of pramipexole was not associated with an increased rate of pneumonia when compared with all other dopamine agonists collectively (RR 0.85; 95% CI: 0.62-1.17).
The use of pramipexole does not appear to increase the risk of pneumonia.
Anti-parkinsonian drugs; Drug safety; Parkinson's disease; Restless leg syndrome; Observational study
Pathological gambling is an impulse control disorder reported in association with dopamine agonists used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Although impulse control disorders are conceptualized as lying within the spectrum of addictions, little neurobiological evidence exists to support this belief. Functional imaging studies have consistently demonstrated abnormalities of dopaminergic function in patients with drug addictions, but to date no study has specifically evaluated dopaminergic function in Parkinson’s disease patients with impulse control disorders. We describe results of a [11C] raclopride positron emission tomography (PET) study comparing dopaminergic function during gambling in Parkinson’s disease patients, with and without pathological gambling, following dopamine agonists. Patients with pathological gambling demonstrated greater decreases in binding potential in the ventral striatum during gambling (13.9%) than control patients (8.1%), likely reflecting greater dopaminergic release. Ventral striatal bindings at baseline during control task were also lower in patients with pathological gambling. Although prior imaging studies suggest that abnormality in dopaminergic binding and dopamine release may be markers of vulnerability to addiction, this study presents the first evidence of these phenomena in pathological gambling. The emergence of pathological gambling in a number of Parkinson’s disease patients may provide a model into the pathophysiology of this disorder.
PMID: 19346328 CAMSID: cams2369
Parkinson’s disease; dopamine; impulse control disorders; pathological gambling; PET; functional imaging