Defining mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease



Our purpose was to characterize a state of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Parkinson's disease (PD) (PD-MCI) that would be analogous to the MCI that is posited as a precursor of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We categorized 86 PD subjects in a brain bank population as either cognitively normal (PD-CogNL), PD-MCI using criteria that included a 1.5 standard deviation or greater deficit upon neuropsychological testing consistently across at least one cognitive domain without dementia, and PD dementia (PD-D) using DSM-IV criteria. Twenty-one percent of our PD sample met criteria for PD-MCI, 62% were PD-CogNL, and 17% had PD-D. The mean duration of PD and MMSE scores of the PD-MCI group were intermediate and significantly different from both PD-CogNL and PD-D. The cognitive domain most frequently abnormal in PD-MCI was frontal/executive dysfunction followed by amnestic deficit. Single domain PD-MCI was more common than PD-MCI involving multiple domains. We conclude that a stage of clinical cognitive impairment in PD exists between PD-CogNL and PD-D, and it may be defined by applying criteria similar to the MCI that is posited as a precursor of AD. Defining PD-MCI offers an opportunity for further study of cognitive impairment in PD and targets for earlier therapeutic intervention. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society