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Punding and computer addiction in Parkinson's disease



Punding is a stereotypical behavior in which there is an intense fascination with repetitive handling and examining of mechanical objects, such as taking apart watches and radios or arranging common objects (lining up pebbles, rocks, or other small objects). This disabling condition, different from both obsessive–compulsive disorder and mania, is probably underreported. Punding is thought to be related to dopaminergic stimulation, although only a few observations of this condition in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) under therapy has been reported. We report a man with PD who developed an unusual, severe, repetitive behavior characterized by spending most of his time on his computer; this abnormal behavior was concomitant with the introduction of L-dopa (400 mg per day) and was not associated to a pattern of chronic inappropriate overuse of dopaminergic medication or other psychiatric symptoms. The patient had the feeling he was forced into a disruptive and unproductive behavior, and he made several attempts to quit without succeeding. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society