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J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 1999 Winter;12(4):180-8.

Validity of the Dementia Rating Scale in assessing cognitive function in Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Henry Ford Health Sciences Center, Detroit, Michigan, USA.


Two studies examined the validity of the Dementia Rating Scale (DRS) as a measure of cognitive functioning among patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). The DRS accounted for more variation in the level of cognitive functioning of PD patients than either the Mini-Mental Status Examination or a battery of tests selected to assess specific cognitive deficits associated with PD. Further, DRS subtests displayed strong convergent and discriminant validity with a comprehensive Criterion Neuropsychology Battery. The DRS subtests appear to be valid measures of attention, perseveration, conceptualization, and memory among PD patients. However, the DRS-Construction subtest should be supplemented with additional visuoconstructional items to provide a thorough screen of cognitive functioning in PD. Although about three-quarters of nondemented PD patients did not appear to have any specific cognitive deficits on the DRS, the remaining patients were impaired on the Construction or Initiation/Perseveration subtests of the DRS. In summary, the DRS is a valid mental status screening test of cognitive functioning for individuals with PD.

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