Posted on March 30, 2013 · Posted in Brain Injury

Mild cognitive impairment at the time of Parkinson’s-disease diagnosis appears to be linked to an increased risk of early dementia, according to a new Norwegian study,

The research was published online last week by JAMA Neurology, a JAMA Network publication.

Since Parkinson’s patients have an increased risk for dementia (PDD) compared with healthy individuals, scientists sought to study the course of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and its progression to dementia in a group of patients with Parkinson’s, according to a press release.

The Norwegian ParkWest study is an ongoing population-based study of the incidence, neurobiology and prognosis of Parkinson’s in western and southern Norway, according to the study background.

The study by Dr. Kenn Freddy Pedersen of Stavanger University Hospital  included 182 patients with Parkinson’s monitored for three years.

More patients with MCI than without MCI at baseline (10 of 37 [27 percent] versus one of 145 [0.7 percent]) progressed to dementia during follow-up.

Of those with MCI at baseline, 8 of 37 (21.6 percent) had MCI that reverted to normal cognition during follow-up, according to the study results.

The findings were also that mild cognitive impairment at the one-year visit was associated with a similar progression rate to dementia (10 of 36 patients [27.8 percent] and reversion rate to normal cognition (7 of 36 [19.4 percent]).

Of the 22 patients with persistent MCI at baseline and the one-year visit, 10 (45.5 percent) developed dementia and only two (9.1 percent) had MCI that reverted to normal cognition by the end of the study.

“This prospective population-based study of an incident PD (Parkinson’s Disease) cohort demonstrates that MCI within the first year of PD diagnosis signals a highly increased risk for early incident dementia,” the study authors said.

“More than 25 percent of patients with MCI at diagnosis of PD developed dementia within three years of follow-up compared with less than 1 percent of patients without MCI at PD diagnosis. Among patients with MCI at baseline and one year of follow-up, almost half progressed to dementia. These findings support the validity of the MCI concept in patients with early PD,” the study authors concluded.

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447