Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Plus a Serious Game as a Complementary Tool for a Patient With Parkinson Disease and Impulse Control Disorder: Case Report

Teresa Mena-Moreno, Lucero Munguía, Rosario Granero, Ignacio Lucas, Almudena Sánchez-Gómez, Ana Cámara, Yaroslau Compta, Francesc Valldeoriola, Fernando Fernandez-Aranda, Anne Sauvaget, José M Menchón, Susana Jiménez-Murcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Impulse control disorders (ICDs) are commonly developed among patients who take dopamine agonist drugs as a treatment for Parkinson disease (PD). Gambling disorder and hypersexuality are more frequent in male patients with PD, with a prevalence over 4% in dopamine agonists users. Although impulsive-compulsive behaviors are related to antiparkinsonian medication, and even though ICD symptomatology, such as hypersexuality, often subsides when the dopaminergic dose is reduced, sometimes ICD persists in spite of drug adjustment. Consequently, a multidisciplinary approach should be considered to address these comorbidities and to explore new forms of complementary interventions, such as serious games or therapies adapted to PD.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to present the case of a patient with ICD (ie, hypersexuality) triggered by dopaminergic medication for PD. A combined intervention was carried out using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for ICD adapted to PD, plus an intervention using a serious game-e-Estesia-whose objective is to improve emotion regulation and impulsivity. The aim of the combination of these interventions was to reduce the harm of the disease.

METHODS: After 20 CBT sessions, the patient received the e-Estesia intervention over 15 sessions. Repeated measures, before and after the combined intervention, were administered to assess emotion regulation, general psychopathology, and emotional distress and impulsivity.

RESULTS: After the intervention with CBT techniques and e-Estesia, the patient presented fewer difficulties to regulate emotion, less emotional distress, and lower levels of impulsivity in comparison to before the treatment. Moreover, the frequency and severity of the relapses also decreased.

CONCLUSIONS: The combined intervention-CBT and a serious game-showed positive results in terms of treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere33858
Pages (from-to)e33858
JournalJMIR Serious Games
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2022


  • Parkinson disease
  • hypersexuality
  • impulse control disorder
  • multidisciplinary approach
  • serious game


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