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Insulin-like growth factor-1 predicts cognitive functions at 2-year follow-up in early, drug-naïve Parkinson's disease



Background and purpose

Cognitive impairment is common in Parkinson's disease (PD), even in the early stages. We aimed to assess the relationship between insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and cognitive functions in early, drug-naïve patients with PD.


Serum IGF-1 was measured in 65 early, drug-naïve patients with PD that underwent a complete neuropsychological battery at baseline and after 2 years. Linear regression analysis was used to evaluate the relationships between neuropsychological scores and IGF-1. Repeated-measures anova was applied to assess changes in neuropsychological variables over time.


At baseline, IGF-1 levels were related to phonological fluency. At follow-up, IGF-1 levels were associated with the Rey auditory verbal learning test (RAVLT) – immediate and delayed recall, Frontal Assessment Battery, verbal span and Benton judgement of the line orientation test. Patients with low IGF-1 levels at baseline showed a significantly faster decline of performances than patients with high IGF-1 levels on immediate and delayed recall of the RAVLT and interference task of the Stroop test.


Low serum IGF-1 levels are related to poor performance on executive tasks in early, drug-naïve patients with PD, and may predict poor performance on attention/executive and verbal memory tasks after a 2-year follow-up.