Volumetric correlates of cognitive functioning in nondemented patients with Parkinson's disease

Authors

  • J. Vincent Filoteo PhD,

    1. Psychology Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California, USA
    2. Research Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California, USA
    3. Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, USA
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  • Jason D. Reed BS,

    1. Research Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California, USA
    2. Department of Radiology, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, USA
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  • Irene Litvan MD,

    1. Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, USA
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  • Deborah L. Harrington PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California, USA
    2. Department of Radiology, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, USA
    • Correspondence to: Dr. Deborah L. Harrington, VA San Diego Healthcare System 116A-13, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92161, USA; dharrington@ucsd.edu

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  • Funding agencies: Department of Veterans Affairs (CX000146 to D.L.H.; CX12004 to J.V.F.).

  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: V.F.: Grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs (CX12004). J.R. and I.L.: None. D.H.: Grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs (CX000146); NIH/NINDS (NS040068); NIH/NINDS U01 (NS082083).

  • Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the online version of this article.

ABSTRACT

A challenge in Parkinson's disease (PD) is to identify biomarkers of early cognitive change because functioning in some domains may be more prognostic of dementia. Few studies have investigated whether structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) correlates in a regionally specific manner with functioning in different cognitive domains. The aim of this study was to identify neuroanatomical correlates of executive functioning, memory, and visual cognition in PD without dementia. 3T MRI was conducted in 51 PD patients and 39 control participants. Brain volumes were measured in structures comprising the frontostriatal cognitive-control system, the medial temporal memory system, the ventral object-based system, and the dorsal spatial-based system. Measures of executive functioning (Stroop Test; Letter Fluency), memory (California Verbal Learning Test), visuospatial cognition (Judgment of Line Orientation), and visuoconstruction (Pentagon Copy) were correlated with volumes comprising each system. Poorer executive functioning largely correlated with decreased frontostriatal volumes. Poorer memory correlated with decreased volumes in all medial temporal regions, but also with frontostriatal volumes. Poorer visuospatial cognition correlated with decreased volumes in the object-based system, whereas poorer visuoconstruction correlated with decreased frontal and object-based system volumes. These relationships were nonsignificant in the control group. This is the first study to demonstrate that subtle changes in multiple cognitive domains in PD without dementia correlate with regional volumes in specific systems implicated in the development of cognitive impairment. The findings suggest that structural MRI holds promise as a marker of early changes in different brain systems, some of which may predict future cognitive deterioration. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society

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