Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 123, Issue 1, pp 45–50 | Cite as

Psychosis in Parkinson’s disease: identification, prevention and treatment

  • Johannes  Levin
  • Alkomiet  Hasan
  • Günter  U. Höglinger
Neurology and Preclinical Neurological Studies - Review Article


Psychosis in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a frequent condition affecting >20 % of all PD patients. It is characterized by vivid dreams, nightmares, illusions, delusions and mostly visual hallucinations. Typically psychosis occurs in the late stage of PD, affecting up to 70 % of the patients following a disease duration of 20 years or more, and can severely interfere with the care of the patients, especially if the patients develop delusions. Psychosis is the principal cause of admission to a nursing home for PD patients. Hence, preemptive identification of risk factors, and avoidance and elimination of triggers are most important measures against psychosis in PD patients. Secondarily, pharmaceutical measures are being undertaken successively, including simplification of medication regimes, discontinuation of non-essential CNS-active drugs, ordered reduction of antiparkinsonian drugs, addition of cholesterinase inhibitors in cognitively impaired patients, and finally addition of antipsychotic medication with limited parkinsonian side effects. As psychosis in PD is a frequent and important problem, we set out to write a state-of-the-art guideline for its identification and treatment.


Parkinson’s disease Psychosis Hallucination Dopamine 



G. Höglinger is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, HO2402/6-2). We wish to thank Katie Ogston for editing the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

Höglinger GU received speaker honoraria and travel support from Abbvie, Roche, and UCB; and compensation for scientific advisory board activity for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, Sellas, and UCB. Hasan A has been invited to scientific meetings by Lundbeck, Janssen-Cilag, and Pfizer, and he received paid speakership by Desitin, Otsuka and BAK. He was member of the Roche Advisory Board.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johannes  Levin
    • 1
  • Alkomiet  Hasan
    • 2
  • Günter  U. Höglinger
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyLudwig-Maximilians-UniversitätMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyLudwig-Maximilians-UniversitätMunichGermany
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  4. 4.Department of Translational NeurodegenerationGerman Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) MunichMunichGermany

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