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Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2009 May;15(4):315-7. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2008.07.009. Epub 2008 Sep 14.

Does laterality of motor impairment tell us something about cognition in Parkinson disease?

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Florida, PO Box 100236, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


This cross-sectional study investigates the relationship between severity of right- and left-sided motor symptoms and deficits in global cognitive function as well as individual cognitive domains in 117 Parkinson disease patients. Items of the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale Part III were divided into right- and left-sided total scores. Composite scores in verbal fluency, verbal memory, executive function, and visuoperceptual skills were obtained from a full neuropsychological battery. We observed a significant association between right-sided motor impairment and verbal memory, visuoperceptual skills, and verbal fluency, but not executive function. The relationship between right symptoms and verbal fluency was fully mediated by cognitive status, while the relationship between right symptoms and verbal memory as well as visuoperceptual skills was not. Left-sided motor symptoms were not significantly related to any composite cognitive domain. When patients were divided into groups based on the side of predominant symptoms, no group differences were found in performance on the specific cognitive domains. This suggests that the degree of right-sided symptoms is more correlated to specific cognitive domains than is group classification of laterality.

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