The ’68 comeback perceptual

Elvis makes a fleeting comeback, accompanied by a milk drinking chimp and some well-dressed mice, in the hallucinations of a patient with Parkinson’s disease who is described in a case study published in the Southern Medical Journal.

He had compulsive gambling behavior and multiple hallucinations (visual and auditory). Visual hallucinations were simple (shapes of shadows, animal shapes like a raccoon, a cat, and a dog) and complex (a woman sitting next to him in car, two well-dressed little mice running around, a chimpanzee drinking his milk standing next to his lunch table in a restaurant, and Elvis Presley standing outside his door in his white coat and white trousers without a guitar). Once while fishing, he saw his dead uncle standing next to him and his uncle said, “It’s not going to work.” Auditory hallucinations were also both simple (incomprehensible sounds) and complex (like his uncle talking to him, nonspecific symphony, and constant melody of chimes). All hallucinations were associated with intact insight and were nonthreatening.

Although the patient was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which is known to trigger hallucinations, it is likely they were caused as much by the dopamine-boosting medication than by the effects of the disease itself.

The patient was taking quite a selection, reportedly prescribed “a combined regimen including carbidopa/levodopa 25/100 mg four times a day (q.i.d.); carbidopa/levodopa 50/200 mg sustained release three times a day (t.i.d.) with a half tablet in the morning; entacapone 200 mg 5 times a day; pramipexole 1mg q.i.d. with 1.5 mg at bedtime (h.s.); amantadine 100 mg twice a day (b.i.d.); and clonazepam 1mg h.s.”

Despite the perceptual distortions encouraged by the meds, the patient is quoted as saying “It is the best control I have had of my motor functions in a long time” and refused to discontinue any of the treatments.

Link to PubMed entry for case study (via @anibalmastobiza).

One thought on “The ’68 comeback perceptual”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: