Cognitive and motor dysfunction in the early phase of Parkinson's disease
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Kognitiv och motorisk funktion i tidig fas av Parkinsons sjukdom. (Swedish)
Background: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disease. The diagnosis is based on a combination of the motor signs: tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity and postural abnormalities. Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is common early in the disease and a large proportion of patients with PD develop dementia (PDD). Associations between motor symptoms and cognitive decline have been suggested but the results are inconclusive due to differences in the selection of participants and variables tested. Large population based studies with comprehensive neuropsychological investigation in newly diagnosed cases with PD followed prospectively are rare. The aim of this thesis was to improve characterization and understanding of cognition in PD, and to explore the relationship to motor impairment in the early phase of PD.
Methods: All new patients with suspected idiopathic parkinsonism in the catchment area (142 ooo inhabitants) were examined during a period of five years and four months. Among other investigations, a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation was carried out in 119 of 148 patients with PD together with 30 age matched healthy controls. Assessments were repeated after one three and five years.
Results: Patients performed worse than healthy controls in a majority of neuropsychological tests. MCI at the time of diagnosis were found in 36% according to recently published MCI criteria. Thirty % were cognitively impaired using another definition. One fourth of the patients developed PDD within five years after diagnosis and 25 % of those with MCI at baseline reversed back to normal cognition. Age and MCI were significant predictors of dementia. Education was an independent predictor for severe cognitive dysfunction at diagnosis but did not predict PDD. Patients with MCI converting to PDD had worse performance on visuospatial function, semantic fluency, episodic memory, mental flexibility and conceptual thinking. There were no differences in cognitive performance between patients with predominant Postural and Gait Disturbances (PIGD) and the tremor dominant subtype at the baseline investigation and belonging to the PIGD subgroup at baseline did not predict PDD. Dementia converters declined more rapidly than non-converters in posture/gait function. Associations between bradykinesia and measures of executive functions and working memory were found, and between posture and gait disturbances and visuospatial function. Some of these associations were persistent after one year. Patients receiving the dopamine agonist pramipexole performed significantly worse on a measure of verbal fluency at the one year follow up.
Conclusions: The differences in proportions of cognitively impaired in the different studies emphasize the value of joint criteria for PD-MCI. Even when using such criteria, a substantial proportion of patients revert back to normal function. The increase in motor disability in patients with PDD could have several different causes that need to be further investigated. Associated motor and cognitive dysfunctions could reflect common pathophysiological processes in partly shared networks. Both dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic motor and cognitive functions seems to be involved in PDD which suggests that pharmacological treatment in PD needs to go beyond the scope of dopaminergic deficiency in search for new therapies that would also be effective for non-motor symptoms.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet , 2013. , 70 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1615
Parkinson's disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Dementia, population based, prospective, newly diagnosed
Research subject Neurology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-82897ISBN: 978-91-7459-767-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-82897DiVA: diva2:664855
2013-12-13, Hörsal E04, byggnad 6E, Norrlands universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 13:00 (Swedish)
Svenningsson, Per, Professor
Forsgren, Lars, ProfessorElgh, Eva, Phd
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