Compulsive eating behaviors in Parkinson’s disease
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Eating disorders are common in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients and often class in Impulse control disorders, however, little is known about their phenomenology. Specific symptoms and comorbidities were described in a group of PD patients in this preliminary study.
Over a period of 6 months, 51 PD patients who experienced significant changes in eating habits following diagnosis of PD and were interviewed during regularly scheduled follow-up visits. We assessed each patient’s height and weight, impulsivity, psychological distress, current eating disorder symptoms, food addiction, food habits and craving.
Among the PD patients who experienced modified dietary habits following diagnosis, few exhibited binge eating disorders (BED) full criteria (3.9%). However, 21.6% of patients experienced episodes of out-of-control eating with a large quantity of food in short time and 39.2% satisfied food addiction (FA) criteria without binge eating disorder. Food cravings more than once a week were experienced in approximately half of the population including all FA patients. Regarding comorbidities, FA PD patients present impulsive features and anxiety.
This study confirms the existence of FA profile in PD patients. Eating disorders even in PD are complex and have a cross-cutting criteria related to out-of-control eating, FA, and BED. The association of anxiety with PD-related food addiction, contrary to L-dopa equivalent daily dose mean score or the presence of dopamine agonists, underline the complex sustainability of the dopaminergic brainstem support. A study on their detailed prevalence in this population could be helpful to better understand unspecified feeding or eating disorder.
Clinical trial number
Name of the registry
French Committee for the Protection of Persons (CPP) & French National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL).
Level of evidence
Level V, descriptive study.
KeywordsEating disorders Food addiction Parkinson’s disease Psychiatry
Binge eating disorders
Barratt impulsiveness scale
Body mass index
Hospital anxiety and depression scale
Impulse control disorders
l-DOPA equivalent daily dose
Movement Disorders Society-Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale
Night eating syndrome
No food addiction
Questionnaire on Eating and Weight Patterns
Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease
IdC: study design, manuscript preparation and final approval of the version to be submitted. FD: clinical assessment, manuscript preparation and final approval of the version to be submitted. ICB: study design. MLF: clinical assessment. AM: clinical assessment. PD: clinical assessment. BD: clinical assessment. GB: manuscript preparation. YB: manuscript preparation and final approval of the version to be submitted. PML: study design, manuscript preparation and final approval of the version to be submitted. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The study was funded by a regional public grant (AOI CHU Clermont-Ferrand 2010). The funder had no role in the writing of the study protocol or in the conductance of the study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the French Ethic Committee (Committees of Protection of Persons South-East 6). It has been qualified by Ethics Committee as an observational study. Pursuant to L.1121-1-1 and R.1121-3 of the French Public Health Code in force at the time of the research, written informed consent from participants to conduct this study was not required.
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