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The rate of cognitive decline in Parkinson disease

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dag Aarsland, Emeritus Professor Robert Perry


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Objectives: To measure the rate and predictors of change on the Mini-Mental State Examination in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) and to compare that change with the Mini-Mental State Examination changes of patients with Alzheimer disease and nondemented subjects. Patients: Patients with PD were drawn from a community-based cohort in Rogaland County, Norway. Those who were without cognitive impairment at disease onset and participated in 1 or more assessments after visit 1 were included and examined after 4 years (visit 2) and 8 years (visit 3). Motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms were rated using standardized scales at visit 1. Two population-based cohorts of patients with Alzheimer disease and nondemented control subjects were included for comparison. Data were analyzed using a mixed-effects model. Results: One hundred twenty-nine PD patients (57% women) were included. The mean (SD) Mini-Mental State Examination score at visit 1 was 27.3 (5.7). The mean annual decline in score from visit 1 to visit 3 was 1.1 (95% confidence interval, 0.8 to 1.3; 3.9% change from visit 1). Patients with PD and dementia (n = 49) had an annual decline from visit I to visit 2 of 2.3 (95% confidence interval, 2.1 to 2.5; 9.1% change from visit 1), compared with 2.6 (95% confidence interval, 2.3 to 2.8; 10.6% change from visit 1) in the patients with Alzheimer disease (n = 34) (mean annual decline among patients with PD and dementia vs patients with Alzheimer disease, not significant). The change in score for nondemented PD patients (n = 80) was small and similar to that for nondemented control subjects (n = 1621). Old age, hallucinations, and more severe motor symptoms (rigidity and motor scores mediated by nondopaminergic lesions) at visit 1 were significantly associated with a more rapid cognitive decline in patients with PD. Conclusions: The mean annual decline on the Mini-Mental State Examination for PD patients was 1 point. However, a marked variation was found. In patients with PD and dementia, the mean annual decline was 2.3, which was similar to the decline observed in patients with Alzheimer disease.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Aarsland D, Andersen K, Larsen JP, Perry R, Wentzel-Larsen T, Lolk A, Kragh-Sorensen P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Archives of Neurology

Year: 2004

Volume: 61

Issue: 12

Pages: 1906-1911

ISSN (print): 0003-9942

ISSN (electronic): 1538-3687

Publisher: American Medical Association


DOI: 10.1001/archneur.61.12.1906


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