Parkinson's Movement
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Recently Diagnosed with PD

Hi I am 60 years old and a retired Legal PA and live in Canvey Island, Essex. I had slight tremors in my left arm for a couple of years but my GP never referred me to a neurologist until this year when I started to have tremors in my right arm too. I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in July and prescribed Pramipexole 3 times a day. This has helped with the tremors but I have noticed that my short term memory has got much worse than it was. Can anyone tell me if this is caused by the medication (not mentioned in the accompanying leaflet) or whether this is just another symptom of PD. Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks.

6 Replies

There are many good support groups around U.K. And great info on this site.

Best wishes, it takes a while to get your head around it all


It appears that memory impairment is a consequence of the dopamine agonist (Pramipexole) use:

"A selective deficit in the recollection of episodic details is frequently reported in Parkinson's disease (PD). Previous explanations implicate dopamine dysregulation in prefrontal structures on which strategic memory processes rely. However, neuroimaging advancements suggest dopaminergic dysregulation of hippocampally dependent memory processes. Accordingly, dopamine agonists, which target D3 receptors in the hippocampus, may impair hippocampal functioning, causing a more pronounced recollection decline. "


" our model

explains how levodopa enhances, but dopamine agonists impair or have no effect on, stimulus-response learning and working memory. "


"Dopamine agonists... activate signaling pathways for dopamine, a chemical messenger involved in many brain functions, including motivation, the experience of pleasure, fine motor control, learning and memory. As a result, major side effects can include memory loss, confusion, delusions, hallucinations, drowsiness and compulsive behaviors such as overeating and gambling."


Doctors have been reluctant to prescribe levodopa because it was thought to cause dykinesias eventually. That has been shown to be an erroneous belief by a recent study of Africans PD patients who did not have levodopa available.


So tell your neuro that you want levodopa instead of pramipexole. Also, the controlled release / extended release version is important because the immediate release results in too uneven a dose .


Hi Suki.

I live in Leigh on Sea and have been on Sinemet 25/100 3. X daily no problem with that mentally but have a lot

of foot pain. have been told that Sinemet is the gold star tablet for PD. good luck.

1 like

Hi, I think it would be a good idea to contact your Parkinson's nurse for a chat. There can be problems planning and remembering with Parkinson's but you will hear about the dreaded drugs, the cases of advanced Lewy body Dementia and everything in between on the Internet.

You would really benefit from speaking to somebody with the time to listen to you and the knowledge to deal with you specifically.

My husband was a wreck until his Parkinson's's nurse got involved.

1 like

Thank you to all of you that replied. I'm going to speak to my Parkinsons Nurse tomorrow about my memory problems and my medication.


Hi SukiCanvey. I am not at all sure that the one can cause the other, but who knows? What I will say is that keeping your mind occupied with puzzles and learning can help the memory.

Many years ago, I purchased a memory aid from a company called Posit Science, in the USA. It helped me tremendously. I don't work fr them and have nothing to gain by giving you this advice.

If you would like to read over 400 articles on how to help you deal with d then visit my website - and you can write tome with any questions. I do not charge fr what I do.

I have been off any Pd medication for the past 14 years and at the age of 82 I live a normal active life.


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