A clinical profile of patients with Parkinson's disease and psychosis

B R Amar, Ravi Yadav, Y C Janardhan Reddy, Pramod Kumar Pal
Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology 2014, 17 (2): 187-92

AIMS: The aim of the study was to study the clinical profile of the patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and psychosis.

SETTINGS AND DESIGN: This was a prospective, cross sectional, hospital-based study done at the Department of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India from September 2009 to January 2011. All patients with PD, diagnosed by United Kingdom PD Society Brain Bank criteria, having with features of psychosis as diagnosed by the neuropsychiatric inventory (NPI) were included. Patients without a caregiver who could validate the patient's symptoms were excluded.

RESULTS: A total of 40 patients (5 women, 35 men) with PD with psychosis (mean age: 54.2 ± 11.5 years, mean duration of illness: 6.5 ± 4.5 years, and mean duration of psychosis: 4.3 ± 4.3 years) were included in the study. The Global NPI score was 19.1 ± 11.5. Majority of the patients had pure hallucinations (85%), while the rest had either pure delusions (7.5%) or a combination of delusions and hallucinations (7.5%). In those with hallucinations, visual hallucinations were the commonest (60%) (pure only in 22.5%), followed by auditory (45%), minor hallucinations (45%), and tactile (20%). Only one person reported having olfactory hallucinations (2.5%). Loss of insight was most often observed during the visual hallucinations (52%), followed by tactile (44.4%), auditory (38.9 %), and minor hallucinations (33.3%).

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with PD and psychosis, pure hallucinations are common and visual hallucinations are the commonest among the hallucinations. A large proportion of patients have minor hallucinations, which need to be recognized early for effective and early management. The limitations of the study were small sample size, use of a single scale to assess psychosis and subjective assessment of insight.

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