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The utility of informant-based measures of cognitive decline to accurately describe objective cognitive performance in Parkinson’s disease (PD) without dementia is uncertain. Due to the clinical relevance of this information, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between informant-based reports of patient cognitive decline via the Informant Questionnaire of Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) and objective cognition in non-demented PD controlling for cognitive status (i.e., mild cognitive impairment; PD-MCI and normal cognition; PD-NC).
One-hundred and thirty-nine non-demented PD participants (PD-MCI n = 38; PD-NC n = 101) were administered measures of language, executive function, attention, learning, delayed recall, visuospatial function, mood, and motor function. Each participant identified an informant to complete the IQCODE and a mood questionnaire.
Greater levels of informant-based responses of patient cognitive decline on the IQCODE were significantly associated with worse objective performance on measures of global cognition, attention, learning, delayed recall, and executive function in the overall sample, above and beyond covariates and cognitive status. However, the IQCODE was not significantly associated with language or visuospatial function.
Results indicate that informant responses, as measured by the IQCODE, may provide adequate information on a wide range of cognitive abilities in non-demented PD, including those with MCI and normal cognition. Findings have important clinical implications for the utility of the IQCODE in the identification of PD patients in need of further evaluation, monitoring, and treatment.
We examined whether intraindividual variability (IIV) across tests of executive functions (EF-IIV) is elevated in Veterans with a history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) relative to military controls (MCs) without a history of mTBI. We also explored relationships among EF-IIV, white matter microstructure, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
A total of 77 Veterans (mTBI = 43, MCs = 34) completed neuropsychological testing, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and PTSD symptom ratings. EF-IIV was calculated as the standard deviation across six tests of EF, along with an EF-Mean composite. DSI Studio connectometry analysis identified white matter tracts significantly associated with EF-IIV according to generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA).
After adjusting for EF-Mean and PTSD symptoms, the mTBI group showed significantly higher EF-IIV than MCs. Groups did not differ on EF-Mean after adjusting for PTSD symptoms. Across groups, PTSD symptoms significantly negatively correlated with EF-Mean, but not with EF-IIV. EF-IIV significantly negatively correlated with GFA in multiple white matter pathways connecting frontal and more posterior regions.
Veterans with mTBI demonstrated significantly greater IIV across EF tests compared to MCs, even after adjusting for mean group differences on those measures as well as PTSD severity. Findings suggest that, in contrast to analyses that explore effects of mean performance across tests, discrepancy analyses may capture unique variance in neuropsychological performance and more sensitively capture cognitive disruption in Veterans with mTBI histories. Importantly, findings show that EF-IIV is negatively associated with the microstructure of white matter pathways interconnecting cortical regions that mediate executive function and attentional processes.
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