Why do some people become impulsive on dopamine medication?

This study is not currently open to accept applicants.
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We are investigating how dopamine level affects behaviour. Medications to increase dopamine levels are routinely prescribed to individuals with Parkinson’s disease. However, certain people may become impulsive while on these medications. The reason could relate to having a genetic predisposition.

The aim of this study is to determine if behavioural and genetic testing can predict healthy individuals’ response to dopamine medication.

Healthy adults will be given a single dose of the dopamine medication Ropinirole and their behaviour on computer-based cognitive and movement tasks monitored. We will also acquire a single blood sample to look at genes known to affect dopamine levels within the brain.

This research may eventually benefit people with Parkinson’s disease by identifying the causes of impulsivity when taking these medications over a long time period.

This study involves 4 sessions: a single screening session (lasting up to 1 hour) and 3 experimental sessions (1 x 4 hour, 2 x 3 hour). Adults between the ages of 40 and 75 who have no neurological disorder may be eligible to participate if they are non-smokers.

If you are interested and/or would like more information, please contact Hayley MacDonald on 09 373 7599 extension 84897, or via email at [email protected].

This study has been approved by the Northern A Health and Disability Ethics Committee on 18/12/2013 (reference number 13NTA215) and the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee on 22/09/2013 (reference number 10083).


Participant information sheet
This study is open to and in aged 40 to 75
Healthy volunteers included

Inclusion criteria:

- aged between 40 and 75 years old

- non-smoker

- normal vision or corrected-to-normal (e.g. glasses)

- no neurological conditions