Interview with Dr. Michel Panisset
Dr. Michel Panisset is the Director of the Movement Disorder Clinic at the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. He specializes in neurology and movement disorders and is particularly interested in Parkinson's Disease. He is also a member of the Parkinson Study Group. Dr. Panisset kindly agreed to share his knowledge and views on the best methods to control hallucinations in patients suffering from PD.
Q: Do hallucinations constitute a big problem for your patients who suffer from Parkinson's disease? How do these hallucinations affect a patient's wellbeing and daily functioning? Do they affect a patient's compliance with medication?
A: Approximately 20 to 40% of patients with Parkinson's Disease experience hallucinations. When we look at our own data, we find that this number is closer to 40%. So, it is a very significant problem. Hallucinations usually start in patients suffering from a more advanced stage of the disease, who have greater problems with cognition and require more medications. We do not see a strong effect on compliance in this particular subpopulation of patients. Typically, when a patient suffers from cognitive or psychiatric problems, medications are administered with the help of a caregiver.