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Neurology Research International
Volume 2011, Article ID 759895, 6 pages
Review Article

Dopamine Dysregulation Syndrome and Deep Brain Stimulation of the Subthalamic Nucleus in Parkinson's Disease

1Movement Disorders Research Unit, Hospital Universitario Gregorio Marañón, 28007 Madrid, Spain
2Servicio de Neurología, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, C/Doctor Esquerdo 46, 28007 Madrid, Spain

Received 9 March 2011; Revised 9 September 2011; Accepted 15 September 2011

Academic Editor: B. R. Ott

Copyright © 2011 Beatriz De la Casa-Fages and Francisco Grandas. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dopamine dysregulation syndrome is a complication of the dopaminergic treatment in Parkinson's disease that may be very disabling due to the negative impact that compulsive medication use may have on patients' social, psychological, and physical functioning. The relationship between subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation and dopamine dysregulation syndrome in patients with Parkinson's disease remains unclear. Deep brain stimulation may improve, worsen, or have no effect on preoperative dopamine dysregulation syndrome. Moreover, dopamine dysregulation syndrome may appear for the first time after deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus. The outcome of postoperative dopamine dysregulation syndrome is poor despite stimulation and medication adjustments. Here we review the phenomenology and neurobiology of this disorder, discuss possible mechanisms that may underlie the diverse outcomes of dopamine dysregulation syndrome after subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation, and propose management strategies.