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Cognitive Change in Newly-Diagnosed Patients with Parkinson's Disease: A 5-Year Follow-up Study

  • Mark Broeders (a1) (a2), Daan C. Velseboer (a2), Rob de Bie (a2), Johannes D. Speelman (a2), Dino Muslimovic (a3), Bart Post (a4), Rob de Haan (a5) and Ben Schmand (a1) (a2)...


Cognitive change is frequently observed in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the exact profile and extent of cognitive impairments remain unclear due to the clinical heterogeneity of PD and methodological issues in many previous studies. In this study, we aimed to examine the severity, frequency, and profile of cognitive changes in newly diagnosed PD patients over 5 years. At baseline and after 3 and 5 years, a hospital-based sample of PD patients (n = 59) and healthy controls (n = 40) were given neuropsychological tests covering six cognitive domains. Patients showed greater decline over time than healthy controls on all cognitive domains, except for attention. The profile of decline showed that psychomotor speed and memory were most affected. At the individual level 53% of the patients showed more cognitive decline than controls. Age at onset and memory impairment at baseline predicted cognitive decline. Cognitive functions in PD patients show greater decline in most domains than in healthy elderly over the course of 5 years. Due to selection bias as a result of attrition, the actual degree of decline may be greater than reported here. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–14)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Mark Broeders, Department of Brain and Cognition, University of Amsterdam, Weesperplein 4, 1018 XA Amsterdam, the Netherlands. E-mail:


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