Cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease: is it a unified phenomenon?

Anja Lowit, Peter Howell, Bettina Brendel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) has long been associated with dementia. This has been found to correlate with participant age, age at onset of PD and severity of PD. In addition, a large corpus of research points to the fact that participants with, as well as without, dementia can be impaired in a variety of cognitive tasks. Among these, set-shifting and dual-tasking skills have received particular focus. Most studies report that a reduction in attentional resources can lead to problems with these tasks. However, none have been able to determine exactly which systems are involved in these skills and which neurological impairments underlie the observed cognitive deficits. The current study set out to investigate how performance on tasks requiring set-shifting and dual tasking related to each other, as well as overall measures of cognition gained across a variety of tasks. Fifteen participants with PD and 12 control participants underwent screening tests for dementia, as well as specific tests to assess attention, set-shifting and dual tasking. The results indicate that set-shifting ability correlated well with other measures of cognitive performance, whereas dualtasking skills did not. This could suggest that set-shifting and dual tasking are not necessarily controlled by the same process, or that a particular process is involved to different degrees. In addition, many participants showed individual performance variations and dissociations between tasks that were not necessarily evident from the statistical analysis. This indicates that it can be difficult to make assumptions on overall cognitive performance from specific tasks and vice versa. This observation has implications for clinical practice as well as research methodology.
LanguageEnglish
Pages191-204
Number of pages13
JournalBrain Impairment
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005

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Parkinson Disease
Dementia
Task Performance and Analysis
Aptitude
Cognition
Research Design
Research
Cognitive Dysfunction
Parkinson Disease 12
Parkinson Disease 10

Keywords

  • Parkinson's disease
  • cognition
  • dementia

Cite this

Lowit, Anja ; Howell, Peter ; Brendel, Bettina. / Cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease : is it a unified phenomenon?. In: Brain Impairment. 2005 ; Vol. 6, No. 3. pp. 191-204.
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Cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease : is it a unified phenomenon? / Lowit, Anja; Howell, Peter; Brendel, Bettina.

In: Brain Impairment, Vol. 6, No. 3, 01.12.2005, p. 191-204.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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