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Keywords:

  • Parkinson's disease;
  • dementia;
  • cerebrospinal fluid;
  • tau;
  • beta-amyloid;
  • neuropsychological function

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD)-pathology may play a role in Parkinson's disease (PD)-related dementia (PDD). The aim of this study was to assess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of tau, phospho-tau, and beta-amyloid, proposed AD biomarkers, and their relationship with cognitive function in PD. Forty PD patients [20 nondemented (PDND); 20 PDD] and 30 controls underwent CSF tau, phospho-tau, and beta-amyloid analysis using specific ELISA techniques. All PD patients and 15 controls underwent neuropsychological testing of fronto-subcortical (attention, fluency) and neocortical (memory, naming, visuoperceptive) functions. CSF markers levels were compared between groups, and compared and correlated with neuropsychological measures in PDND and PDD separately and as a continuum (PD). CSF tau and phospho-tau were higher in PDD than in PDND and controls (P < 0.05). CSF beta-amyloid ranged from high (controls) to intermediate (PDND) and low (PDD) levels (P < 0.001). In all PD and PDD patients, high CSF tau and phospho-tau were associated with impaired memory and naming. In PDND, CSF beta-amyloid was related with phonetic fluency. These findings suggest underlying AD-pathology in PDD in association with cortical cognitive dysfunction, and that low CSF beta-amyloid in PDND patients with impaired phonetic fluency can constitute an early marker of cognitive dysfunction. © 2009 Movement Disorder Society