Exploratory analysis of neuropsychological and neuroanatomical correlates of progressive mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease

Department of Neurology and Brain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, , Seoul, Korea.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry (Impact Factor: 6.81). 07/2013; 85(1). DOI: 10.1136/jnnp-2013-305062
Source: PubMed


Parkinson's disease with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI) is a heterogeneous entity in terms of cognitive profiles and conversion to dementia. However, the risk factors for ongoing cognitive decline in patients with PD-MCI are not clearly defined.
51 patients with PD-MCI were prospectively followed-up for a minimum of 2 years. Subjects were classified as MCI converters (n=15) or MCI non-converters (n=36) based on whether they were subsequently diagnosed with PD dementia. We explored cognitive profiles and neuroanatomical characteristics of PD-MCI converters using voxel based morphometry (VBM) of grey matter (GM) density and region of interest based volumetric analysis of the substantia innominata (SI).
PD-MCI converters showed more severe cognitive deficits in frontal executive functions, immediate verbal memory and visual recognition memory compared with PD-MCI non-converters. VBM analysis revealed that PD-MCI converters had significantly lower GM density in the left prefrontal areas, left insular cortex and bilateral caudate nucleus compared with that in PD-MCI non-converters. The mean normalised SI volume was significantly smaller in both PD-MCI converters (1.19±0.35, p<0.001) and PD-MCI non-converters (1.52±0.27, p<0.001) compared with that in controls (1.87±0.19). PD-MCI converters had a significantly smaller normalised SI volume than PD-MCI non-converters (p<0.001).
Our data show that atrophy in the frontostriatal areas and cholinergic structures, as well as frontal lobe associated cognitive performance, may act as predictors of dementia in PD-MCI patients, suggesting distinctive patterns of cognitive profiles and a neuroanatomical basis for progressive PD-MCI.

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