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Minerva Med. 2011 Dec;102(6):441-59.

Mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Section of Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders, Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush University, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Parkinson's disease (PD) traditionally has been defined by its characteristic motor hallmarks, but non-motor features such as cognitive impairment and dementia are increasingly recognized as part of PD. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is common in non-demented PD patients, occurring in about 20-50%. Frequency estimates and clinical features of mild cognitive impairment in PD (PD-MCI), however, vary across studies due to methodological differences and lack of uniform diagnostic criteria for PD-MCI. Overall, PD-MCI patients exhibit nonamnestic deficits in cognitive domains such as executive function, attention, and visuospatial function; however, the cognitive phenotype of PD-MCI is heterogeneous with some patients demonstrating greater amnestic deficits. PD-MCI patients, particularly those with posterior cortical profiles, may be at high risk for developing dementia. Various biomarkers studied in PD-MCI including cerebrospinal fluid, genetic analyses, and neuroimaging suggest that there may be distinct PD-MCI profiles. Future studies using uniform PD-MCI diagnostic criteria and incorporating biomarkers and longitudinal follow-up of PD-MCI cohorts are needed to understand PD-MCI as a transitional state between normal cognition and dementia.

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