Good morning, Chestnut.
Picking up where I left off. Consultants have been prescribing Dopamine Agonists (DAs) for PD since the back end of the last century, and for those patients who aren't susceptible to their OCD side effects the improvements the DAs have made to their lives have really been tremendous.
Furthermore not only do the DAs vastly improve life quality for most "Parkies", but their early introduction allows the alternative Levodopa-based drugs (previously the standard solution) to be held in abeyance for many years. This is key to long-term treatment, as the effectiveness of L-Dopa wears off in time, resulting in the patient needing bigger and bigger quantities to achieve the same effects.
Our big problem, however, is that it came to light after many years of widespread DA use that around 1 in 4 PD patients prescribed DAs are susceptible to the DAs causing OCD side effects to some degree
that these effects can range in extremes (as well as in patients' abilities to have any control whatsoever over what their minds and bodies are doing) from harmless obsessions like rearranging furniture to life, family, home and career-destroying catastrophe.
In my own case the obsessions centred on libido, gambling and hyperspending, and resulted in me losing the family home, my career and my family (my son, now 23, has refused to have anything to do with me since he was 11). I gambled and frittered away hundreds of thousands of pounds, got into impossible levels of debt and ended up in the Crown Court for fraud. One of the predominant factors in my own case was that I was first put on DAs in 2000, before anything was known about the connection between DAs and OCDs, and by the time it all came to light (c 2003) I was already a lost cause and away with the fairies.
Since that date the drug companies have at least been able to include warnings in the instructions, although amazingly there is still a surprisingly high number of consultant neurologists out there who believe the tales of OCDs are highly exagerrated, or the DAs are simply being used by individuals recreationally, and that all that's needed to resolve the problem is a bit of will power! And amazingly there are still SOME doctors out there practising who haven't even heard of the DA/OCD link at all.
This link shows a BBC TV programme on DAs and gambling broadcast back in 2003, i.e. NINE years ago:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3142615.stm
and cases continue to appear in the press from time to time with the emphasis being put on any angle from serious/scientific to scurrilous: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6446763/Parkinsons-drug-made-former-councillor-carry-out-45000-eBay-ticket-fraud.html http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/cumbrian-man-s-parkinson-s-drugs-blamed-for-him-filming-women-1.860591?referrerPath=home http://in.news.yahoo.com/parkinsons-medication-leaves-patients-addicted-sex-shopping-twitter-123907002.html
Well, I hope that gives you enough background info to at least make your relatives stop and think. It's perfectly rational and wise for them to put the safety of themselves and the kiddies first in these circumstances: I'd do the same. But they can at least look at what we have here, and perhaps check out a few cases of successful, ordinary folk having their lives torn apart. ON TOP of having PD !!