Clozapine prevents recurrence of psychosis in Parkinson's disease

Authors

  • Dr. Stewart A. Factor,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York, U.S.A.
    • Department of Neurology (A-70), Albany Medical College, New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208, U.S.A.
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  • Diane Brown

    1. Department of Neurology, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York, U.S.A.
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Abstract

Psychosis secondary to dopaminergic therapy can limit the ability to manage motor symptoms of advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). We report the results of an open label 3-month trial that evaluated the antipsychotic effects of clozapine in eight PD patients with drug-induced psychosis. Response was quantified using a simplified brief psychiatric rating scale and two PD scales. Clozapine significantly improved psychiatric scores at low doses. The use of every other day regimens (not previously utilized) led to good control of symptoms and minimized side effects. Clozapine also had a positive sleep effect in four patients and improved dyskinesia in one. Finally, this treatment prevented recurrence of psychosis while levodopa doses were significantly increased and while other antiparkinsonian medications were added. Motor disability related to PD improved as a result of these treatment adjustments. We conclude that clozapine is effective in treating drug-induced psychosis in PD and allows for safe optimization of antiparkinsonian therapy.

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