Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parkinson's patients shed light on role of reward bias in compulsive behaviors

Date:
January 16, 2010
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
New research unravels the brain mechanisms that underlie the ability of a standard drug treatment for Parkinson's to elicit compulsive behaviors in some patients with the disease. The study provides fascinating new insight into the brain mechanisms that underlie a predisposition to behavioral addictions, such as pathological gambling and shopping.

New research unravels the brain mechanisms that underlie the ability of a standard drug treatment for Parkinson's to elicit compulsive behaviors in some patients with the disease. The study, published by Cell Press in the January 14th issue of the journal Neuron, provides fascinating new insight into the brain mechanisms that underlie a predisposition to behavioral addictions, such as pathological gambling and shopping.

The tendency to make a compulsive choice, even when faced with substantial negative outcomes and alternative choices, is characteristic of aberrant gambling or shopping behaviors. Therefore, it is likely that the decision-making process is disrupted in individuals who demonstrate these compulsive behaviors.

Abnormalities in "prediction error," which serves as a kind of teaching signal to update our future predictions and influence future choices, have been hypothesized to play a role in substance abuse disorders. However, prediction error has not yet been linked to such human behavioral pathologies.

Dr. Valerie Voon, from the National Institutes of Health, led a study of compulsive behaviors triggered in Parkinson's disease patients treated with drugs that stimulate the brain's dopamine system. "A constellation of pathological behaviors, including gambling, shopping, binge eating, and hypersexuality, is seen in13% of patients taking dopamine agonists," explains Dr. Voon. "These behaviors are associated with factors predisposing to general substance abuse disorders, thus emphasizing a common underlying susceptibility."

In order to gain unique insight into the core biology of behavioral addiction in susceptible individuals, Dr. Voon and colleagues used brain imaging techniques to examine dopamine agonist-induced compulsive behaviors in Parkinson's patients and normal controls. The researchers observed that dopamine agonists elicited an increase in the rate of learning from beneficial outcomes and a greater prediction error, signifying a better than expected outcome, in susceptible individuals with Parkinson's disease.

"Taken together, our findings are consistent with a model whereby a distorted estimation of the gain underpins a choice bias towards gains," concludes Dr. Voon. "The results highlight a key decision-making process dysregulated by dopamine agonists in a population susceptible to compulsive behaviors and provide clues to mechanisms that underlie behavioral escalation in a disorder of behavioral addiction. The mechanism may also explain why anecdotally some patients describe the onset of their gambling symptoms after experiencing a 'win'."

The researchers include Valerie Voon, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; Mathias Pessiglione, Hopital Pitie΄ -Salpetriere, INSERM, Paris, France; Christina Brezing, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; Cecile Gallea, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; Hubert H. Fernandez, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL ; Raymond J. Dolan, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, London, UK; and Mark Hallett, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Parkinson's patients shed light on role of reward bias in compulsive behaviors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100113122251.htm>.
Cell Press. (2010, January 16). Parkinson's patients shed light on role of reward bias in compulsive behaviors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100113122251.htm
Cell Press. "Parkinson's patients shed light on role of reward bias in compulsive behaviors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100113122251.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) — Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins