14th International Congress
14th international congress

News Release

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Laur, +1 414-276-2145, elaur@movementdisorders.org
MDS Press Room: Rio de la Plata Room, 2nd Floor, Sheraton Buenos Aires
(Abstract: 581)

New Research Shows Reduced DAT Density in the
Ventral Striatum in PD Patients with Impulse Control Disorders

BUENOS AIRES – A study investigating dopamine transporter (DAT) density in Parkinson’s disease patients experiencing pathological gambling and other impulse control disorders was presented today at The Movement Disorder Society’s 14th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.

The study, led by Roberto Cilia, MD, and a team from Toronto, Canada found reduced DAT density in the ventral limbic striatum and increased synaptic dopamine availability in Parkinson’s disease patients experiencing pathological gambling. Low DAT expression was previously associated with impulsive behavior, and findings in this study may reflect functional down-regulation, a reduction in sensitivity to dopamine, or allelic polymorphisms, the existence of multiple traits within the same unique form of a gene.

Andrew Evans, MD, of the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia states “Cilia et al. report that PD patients have reduced striatal DAT binding but only those impulse control behaviors (ICB) show reduced ventral striatal DAT binding although it is not clear whether the results remain significant when corrected for dopaminergic drug exposure. The role of DAT in determining the amount of dopamine available for receptor stimulation after its release from the presynaptic terminal may therefore underlie the heightened release of endogenous dopamine reported in PD patients with ICBs in response to gambling reward. Less effective clearance of synaptic dopamine may further render these individuals more sensitive to drug-induced dopamine surges and lead to a range of other reward based behaviors.”

Meeting attendees are gathered to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options for Movement Disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington's disease, tremor, gait and dystonia. More than 3,500 physicians and medical professionals from 70 countries will be able to view over 1,000 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

The Movement Disorder Society, an international society of over 3,500 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals from more than 90 countries, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about The Movement Disorder Society, visit www.movementdisorders.org.