Monday, October 3, 2022
Monday, October 3, 2022
HomeTreatmentsDoes Parkinson's Disease Cause Personality Changes

Does Parkinson’s Disease Cause Personality Changes

Causes Of Personality Changes

Grief, bad news, and disappointment can cause a normally happy person to become downtrodden. Sometimes, a persons mood can be altered for weeks or months after hearing devastating news. However, mood changes arent the same as personality changes.

However, some people experience unusual or strange behavior for years, which may occur due to an illness or injury. A person may experience a change in their demeanor after experiencing a traumatic situation or witnesses an unpleasant event.

These behavioral changes may be caused by a mental health condition, such as:

Medical conditions that cause a fluctuation in hormone levels can also cause strange or unusual behavior. These conditions include:

How Are These Mental Health Problems Treated

Your doctor will first want to check if your hallucinations, delusions, or paranoia are caused by other medical conditions. They’ll check for imbalances in chemicals in your blood that help send nerve signals.

They may also check to see how well your kidney, liver, or lungs are working, as well as test for certain infections. All of these issues could cause mental health problems.

Other medications that you may be using, including over-the-counter drugs, could also play a role in your mental health. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including herbs and supplements.

Often the medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease can cause mental health problems. Your doctor may suggest you switch to a different drug or change your dose. If changing your Parkinson’s medication causes your Parkinson’s symptoms to get worse, your doctor may recommend you stick with it but take antipsychotic drugs at the same time.

There’s a chance that an antipsychotic medicine you take is making your Parkinson’s worse. If that happens, you have alternatives. The medication pimavanserin was approved by the FDA to specifically treat psychosis that goes along with Parkinson’s disease. Other drugs, such as olanzapine , quetiapine , and clozapine can control hallucinations at low doses without making your Parkinson’s symptoms worse.

If you feel depressed or notice any mental health problems, talk to your doctor right away. There’s likely a remedy that will make you feel better.

Brain Tumor Personality Changes

A brain tumor in the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, or parts of the cerebrum can cause personality changes.

For example, someone who was easy to get along with could become irritable. An active person could become more passive.

Mood swings, such as quickly becoming angry after feeling happy, may also occur.

What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinson Disease

Parkinson disease symptoms usually start out mild, and then progressively get much worse. The first signs are often so subtle that many people don’t seek medical attention at first. These are common symptoms of Parkinson disease:

  • Tremors that affect the face and jaw, legs, arms, and hands
  • Slow, stiff walking

Tips For Common Behavior And Mood Changes

How To Cure and What To Avoid in Parkinsons Disease ...

Aggressive & Threatening Behavior

Sometimes things can get out of control and feel very scary. These are tips and strategies for dealing with especially challenging behaviors. If you think that you or others may be in immediate danger, call 911.



The person with dementia is threatening you or acting physically violent, such as hitting, pushing, or kicking you

  • Give the person space and time to calm down.
  • Stay out of arms reach and position yourself near the exit.
  • Avoid small spaces like kitchens, bathrooms and cars.
  • Remove or secure objects that could be used as weapons.
  • Reduce background noise .
  • Keep a phone with you in case you need to call for help.
  • Go outside, to a neighbors house, or public place if needed to stay safe.
  • Take a deep breath and try to stay calm.
  • Listen.
  • Empathize/apologize: I am sorry this is so frustrating.
  • Offer reassurance: I know this is difficult. It is going to be okay, or I am here to help.
  • Give yourself a break; take time to care for your own needs.
  • Get help .
  • Tell the dispatcher your name and location and that your family member has dementia. Tell the dispatcher if a weapon is involved.

The person with dementia is angry and accusing you of something that is not true, such as stealing from or cheating on them

The person with dementia is throwing fits or having emotional outbursts, such as yelling, screaming, or banging on things

Anxiety Related to Dementia



  • Regular exercise may be another outlet for nervous energy.
  • Apathy

    Medication Not Working The Way It Used To

    In the early stages, taking medicine works well to get rid of symptoms. But as Parkinsons progresses, your medication works for shorter periods of time, and symptoms return more easily. Your doctor will need to change your prescription.

    Dr. Valerie Rundle-Gonzalez, a Texas-based neurologist, says to pay attention to how long your medicine takes to kick in and when it stops working. She says you should feel like symptoms significantly improve or are almost gone while on medication.

    What Medications Are Used To Treat Parkinsons Disease

    Medications are the main treatment method for patients with Parkinsons disease. Your doctor will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan best suited for you based on the severity of your disease at the time of diagnosis, side effects of the drug class and success or failure of symptom control of the medications you try.

    Medications combat Parkinsons disease by:

    • Helping nerve cells in the brain make dopamine.
    • Mimicking the effects of dopamine in the brain.
    • Blocking an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the brain.
    • Reducing some specific symptoms of Parkinsons disease.

    Levodopa: Levodopa is a main treatment for the slowness of movement, tremor, and stiffness symptoms of Parkinsons disease. Nerve cells use levodopa to make dopamine, which replenishes the low amount found in the brain of persons with Parkinsons disease. Levodopa is usually taken with carbidopa to allow more levodopa to reach the brain and to prevent or reduce the nausea and vomiting, low blood pressure and other side effects of levodopa. Sinemet® is available in an immediate release formula and a long-acting, controlled release formula. Rytary® is a newer version of levodopa/carbidopa that is a longer-acting capsule. The newest addition is Inbrija®, which is inhaled levodopa. It is used by people already taking regular carbidopa/levodopa for when they have off episodes .

    Potential Psychological Effects Of Dbs

    The past 15 years have seen an increasing amount of research devoted to whether DBS causes psychological changes in PD patients. Such effects are plausible for at least three reasons. First, DBS may impact cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and neuropsychiatic networks because these functional networks are adjacent to the motor fronto-subcortical networks targeted by DBS . Second, living with technological equipment in the brain that alters functioning may present profound challenges to identity . Third, the potential lifestyle changes that occur following DBS may relate to shifting patterns of psychosocial functioning .

    Excellent review articles touch upon the psychological effects of DBS, focusing on issues such as impulsivity , psychological variables relevant to neuroethics , acute and enduring psychiatric and neuropsychiatric changes , and measurement of these and other complex changes . Some of these articles reviewed individual studies that assessed variables relevant to the field of personality psychology, such as personality traits , and personality disorders , however, none of the reviews focused primarily on personality changes. Thus, our central aim is to provide a brief but relatively comprehensive evaluation of this research. Before doing so, it is important to frame our review within the context of three relevant issues: defining personality and offering a putative neurobiological basis for personality change following DBS.

    Can Parkinsons Disease Be Prevented

    Unfortunately, no. Parkinsons disease is long-term disease that worsens over time. Although there is no way to prevent or cure the disease , medications may significantly relieve your symptoms. In some patients especially those with later-stage disease, surgery to improve symptoms may be an option.

    Parkinsons Disease And Mental Health: Whats The Link

    The relationship between Parkinson’s disease and mental health is not straightforward. This is because, when it comes to the brain, no one is entirely sure what causes either Parkinson’s disease or mental illness. However, there is no evidence to suggest that a pre-existing mental health condition increases your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease . On the other hand, a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease does make you more susceptible to developing mental health conditions.

    Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health symptoms in people with Parkinson’s. Signs to look out for include:

    • Changes in appetite, either eating too much or too little
    • Excessive tiredness
    • Lack of interest in hobbies and activities
    • Feeling hopeless or down most days
    • Feeling fearful or constantly worried

    The mental health symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can also affect your physical symptoms and vice versa. For example, some people find that their anxiety increases when they have OFF episodes where their medication doesn’t work as well. Others report feeling depressed as a result of worsening symptoms.

    If you’re struggling with the mental or emotional effects of Parkinson’s disease, you should talk to your doctor. He or she may suggest changing or adjusting your medication.

    Effects Of Memory And Cognitive Changes

    While it may seem clear to you that emotional states can have a significant impact on your thinking, the reverse is also true: Your thinking can sometimes strongly influence your emotional states. You know the proverbial story of two men who see the same glass of water but one sees it as half full and the other as half empty? The same goes for thinking and emotional states.

    Sometimes your assessment of a situation can influence your emotional reaction to that situation. More generally, executive cognitive functions can influence your mood states because those executive functions control all the information you have about the situations you find yourself in. Executive functions control your appraisal of those situations. If you find it difficult to recall happy memories, you may become more sad or depressed. If you find it difficult to plan a vacation, you may put off the vacation and thus influence your mood states and so forth.

    Problems with executive functions can also get you into trouble over serious matters like money. If you find it difficult to balance the checkbook, you may get a bit sloppier about your finances. Consider also that the extra jolt of dopamine that comes from taking dopamine medications can sometimes make you temporarily more energized and impulsive. Now when you couple a heightened sense of impulsivity with a lowered capacity for thinking efficiently through decisions, you sometimes get impulsive respondingbad decisions.

    How Is Parkinson Disease Treated

    Parkinson disease can’t be cured. But there are different therapies that can help control symptoms. Many of the medicines used to treat Parkinson disease help to offset the loss of the chemical dopamine in the brain. Most of these medicines help manage symptoms quite successfully.

    A procedure called deep brain stimulation may also be used to treat Parkinson disease. It sends electrical impulses into the brain to help control tremors and twitching movements. Some people may need surgery to manage Parkinson disease symptoms. Surgery may involve destroying small areas of brain tissue responsible for the symptoms. However, these surgeries are rarely done since deep brain stimulation is now available.

    Personality And Addictive Behaviours In Early Parkinson’s Disease And Rem Sleep Behaviour Disorder

    Is Parkinson

    A similar pattern of personality change is seen in PD and RBD compared to controls.

    The similar pattern found suggests these personality changes occur before motor symptoms.

    Extraversion, linked with reward sensitivity, is associated with smoking and alcohol.

    Lower addictive behaviours before and after motor symptoms are not explained by personality alone.

    This suggests that inherent factors other than simple dopamine dysfunction drive these differences.

    Does Dbs Cause Changes In Personality

    Report from International Neuroethics Society annual meeting

    Since 2002, deep brain stimulation , the surgical implantation of a pacemaker-like device that sends electrical impulses to targeted parts of the brain, has been used as a treatment for motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease . But are patients trading part of their sense of self in exchange for improved mobility?

    In the last decade, a growing number of published articles have raised the concern of personality changes in PD patients as a result of DBS, and tried to discern if the concern is real or overblown. At Thursdays International Neuroethics Society meeting discussion DBS: Continuity of Self, panelists aimed to add clarity to the debate. Speculation shouldnt be divorced from clinical reality, said panel moderator and ethicist Hannah Maslen, who introduced the session.

    The speakers, philosopher and neuroethicist Frederic Gilbert, neuropsychologist Cynthia Kubu, behavioral neurologist Winston Chiong, and ethics researcher Jonathan Pugh, offered a range of perspectives. They largely focused on the state of the evidence and why its so difficult to assess personality changes in patients.

    But what does the existing primary research say?

    One patient who met this criterion told them, really takes over. I couldnt work, which was a big part of my identity. If I didnt have the device Id probably be dead right now, and later states I think that does change you as a person.

    Parkinson’s Personality Traits And Medications

    People with Parkinson’s tend not to smoke or to engage in other risky health behaviors until they are medicated with dopamine agonists, which are Parkinson’s disease drugs that mimic the effects of dopamine in the brain.

    In some people, these drugs actually lead to another personality change: the person taking them starts to take too many risks, perhaps by gambling or engaging in unusual sexual behavior. This personality turnaround may be dramatic and even could threaten the well-being of the person with Parkinson’s and his or her family.

    Therefore, it’s important to be aware of potential personality changes when starting a new drug for Parkinson’s disease.

    Personality Changes In The Elderly

    Minor personality changes in older adults, such as becoming more irritable or agitated, are not unusual. Extreme personality changes, such as a passive person becoming very controlling, could be a sign of dementia due to changes in the brains frontal lobe.

    A 2016 study suggests that older adults have different personality traits than those of younger people. For example, neuroticism tended to increase in adults in their 80s.

    Some people may revert to a younger age as they grow older. This could be a sign of depression or a way to cope with aging.

    Dementia With Lewy Bodies

    After Alzheimer’s, this is the next most common type of dementia. Clumps of unusual proteins, called Lewy bodies, form in the areas of your brain that control memory, movement, and thinking. So it affects you both mentally and physically. People who have it tend to become more passive, showing little emotion and losing interest in hobbies and other activities.

    What Does Acetylcholine Do In Parkinson’s


    The action of dopamine is opposed by another neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. In PD the nerve cells that produce dopamine are dying. The PD symptoms of tremor and stiffness occur when the nerve cells fire and there isn’t enough dopamine to transmit messages.

    Additionally, what is the function of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine? Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter used at the neuromuscular junctionin other words, it is the chemical that motor neurons of the nervous system release in order to activate muscles. This property means that drugs that affect cholinergic systems can have very dangerous effects ranging from paralysis to convulsions.

    One may also ask, how does dopamine affect acetylcholine?

    It has been shown that dopamine inhibits the release of acetylcholine from nerve terminals of caudate cholinergic interneurons, and the imbalance between dopaminergic and cholinergic system by 6-hydroxydopamine pretreatment leads to an increased ACh release.

    What happens when there is too much acetylcholine?

    Excessive accumulation of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junctions and synapses causes symptoms of both muscarinic and nicotinic toxicity. These include cramps, increased salivation, lacrimation, muscular weakness, paralysis, muscular fasciculation, diarrhea, and blurry vision.

    Parkinson’s Personality: Disease More Likely To Strike Cautious People

    30 April 2012

    Some personality traits appear to be linked with the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, a new study suggests.

    The results show patients with Parkinson’s disease are more likely to be cautious and avoid taking risks compared with people who don’t have Parkinson’s.

    Moreover, the tendency to avoid taking risks appears to be a stable personality trait across a patient’s lifetime as far back as 30 years before symptoms began, those with Parkinson’s disease said they did not often engage in risky or exhilarating activities, such as riding roller coasters or speeding, the study found.

    The findings add to a growing body of research suggesting Parkinson’s is more likely to afflict people with rigid, cautious personalities.

    It’s possible that what we consider to be aspects of someone’s personality may in fact be very early manifestations of Parkinson’s, said study researcher Kelly Sullivan, of the University of South Florida’s department of neurology. However, much more research is needed to confirm this hypothesis, Sullivan said.

    It’s also way too soon to say that having a “look before you leap” personality puts you at risk for Parkinson’s.

    “I’m not a big risk-taker, but at the same time, I haven’t resigned myself that I’m going to have Parkinson’s,” Sullivan said.

    Parkinson’s personality

    They also asked questions to gauge participants’ current personalities.

    Too little dopamine

    Pass it on: Parkinson’s diseases patients tend to have more cautious personalities.

    Parkinsons Disease And Sex Issues: Libido Sex Drive

    Parkinson’s disease and sex is a complicated topic. No matter your age, gender or relationship status, sex plays a significant part in many people’s lives. Sexual desire does not go away with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, and most people are perfectly able to continue having intimate relationships. However, you may experience changes to your libido or physical ability during sex. As with all Parkinsonian symptoms, it helps to be prepared so that you’re aware of your options. With this in mind, here’s what to expect from Parkinson’s disease and sex.

    Is Parkinsons Disease Inherited

    What is Parkinson

    Scientists have discovered gene mutations that are associated with Parkinsons disease.

    There is some belief that some cases of early-onset Parkinsons disease disease starting before age 50 may be inherited. Scientists identified a gene mutation in people with Parkinsons disease whose brains contain Lewy bodies, which are clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to understand the function of this protein and its relationship to genetic mutations that are sometimes seen in Parkinsons disease and in people with a type of dementia called Lewy body dementia.

    Several other gene mutations have been found to play a role in Parkinsons disease. Mutations in these genes cause abnormal cell functioning, which affects the nerve cells ability to release dopamine and causes nerve cell death. Researchers are still trying to discover what causes these genes to mutate in order to understand how gene mutations influence the development of Parkinsons disease.

    Scientists think that about 10% to 15% of persons with Parkinsons disease may have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to development of the disease. There are also environmental factors involved that are not fully understood.

    Personality Changes With Age

    Your personality can continue to develop throughout your lifetime.

    A 2011 study suggests that the Big Five personality traits conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, and introversion/extroversion remain stable once people reach adulthood.

    In a 2016 study, researchers compared the results of personality tests taken by adolescents in 1950 with those taken by the same people at age 77. The test results suggested that personality may gradually change during someones life and be very different by the time theyre older.

    This study did have some methodology limitations, and more work is needed in this area.

    Cognitive Changes In Parkinsons Disease

    In recent years, there has been increasing interest in cognitive and behavioral changes associated with Parkinsons disease. Recent studies have identified deficits in cognitive function, neuropsychiatric status, and language. There has been a parallel development in the domain of speech, as researchers have turned from a focus purely on speech production deficits to an interest in possible deficits of speech perception .

    Cognitive and behavioral symptoms can appear at the earliest stages of the Parkinsons, before any treatment has occurred, and may even be biomarkers for PD. Cognitive profiles are variable and range from mild deficits in specific cognitive domains to severe dementia affecting multiple domains. It is estimated that 19% to 30% of people with early, newly diagnosed PD present with cognitive impairments and these impairments worsen with disease progression .

    Risk Of Experiencing These Behaviours

    It is important that all people with Parkinsons are assessed for any potential risk of impulsive and compulsive behaviour before they start taking their medication. This is an important discussion to have with your specialist.

    Research has shown that around 17% of people with Parkinsons who take dopamine agonists experience impulsive and compulsive behaviour. For a small number of people, levodopa, has also been shown to have similar side effects. The research suggests that 7% of people who take these other kinds of medication are affected.

    Evidence suggests that you may be more likely to experience impulsive and compulsive behaviour if you are:

    • Male
    • Someone with a history of addictive behaviour
    • Someone who has a family history of gambling or alcohol abuse

    Its important to emphasise that not everyone will experience this behaviour. It is a possible side effect. It should not put you off taking your medication. Your specialist will assess your risk of impulsive and compulsive behaviours and you can work together to find the most appropriate treatment option for you. 

    Anxiety And Parkinsons Disease

    Anxiety is another common mood disorder of PD and is characterized by excessive nervousness or worry over several months. Patients with generalized anxiety disorder may experience symptoms such as:

    • Restlessness, feeling wound-up or on edge
    • Difficulty controlling the worry
    • Sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless or unsatisfying sleep1,3

    Anxiety is not linked with disease progression of PD. It may develop before or after a PD diagnosis. It is often experienced along with depression in people with PD, as the disease process of PD changes the chemistry of the brain. Treatment for anxiety may include anti-anxiety medications, psychological counseling, exercise, relaxation techniques, and/or meditation.1

    Adderall And Personality Changes

    The prescription drug Adderall is the brand name for the combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Its mainly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .

    Among the reported side effects of stimulants like Adderall are new or increased hostility and aggressive behavior. However, this appears to be related to misuse of the medication.

    Children and teenagers may have new psychotic or manic episodes.

    Personality Changes With Dementia

    Dementia, which is caused by illness or injury, is an impairment of at least two cognitive brain functions.

    Cognitive brain functions include:

    • judgment
    • behavior

    The loss of neurons in the frontal lobe of the brain can cause people with mild dementia to experience personality changes such as becoming more withdrawn or depressed.

    People with moderate dementia may experience more significant personality changes, such as becoming agitated and suspicious of others.

    Signs Of Parkinsons Disease

    In 1817, Dr. James Parkinson published An Essay on the Shaking Palsy describing non-motor, as well as, motor symptoms of the illness that bears his name. Parkinsons is not just a movement disorder, explained Dr. Shprecher. Constipation, impaired sense of smell, and dream enactment can occur years before motor symptoms of Parkinsons. The latter, caused by a condition called REM sleep behavior disorder, is a very strong risk factor for both Parkinsons and dementia . This has prompted us to join a consortium of centers studying REM sleep behavior disorder.

    What Are The Primary Motor Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

    Treating Symptoms of Parkinson

    There are four primary motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease: tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability . Observing two or more of these symptoms is the main way that physicians diagnose Parkinsons.

    It is important to know that not all of these symptoms must be present for a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease to be considered. In fact, younger people may only notice one or two of these motor symptoms, especially in the early stages of the disease. Not everyone with Parkinsons disease has a tremor, nor is a tremor proof of Parkinsons. If you suspect Parkinsons, see a neurologist or movement disorders specialist.




    Postural Instability

    Walking or Gait Difficulties


    Vocal Symptoms


    Popular Articles