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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 365959, 6 pages
Research Article

Relationship between Cognitive Performance and Motor Dysfunction in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease: A Pilot Cross-Sectional Study

1Neuromotor and Cognitive Rehabilitation Research Center, Department of Neurological and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy
2Department of Neurology, Hochzirl Hospital, 6170 Zirl, Austria
3Research Unit for Neurorehabilitation South Tyrol, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
4Neurorehabilitation Unit, Hospital Trust of Verona, 37126 Verona, Italy

Received 10 October 2014; Revised 19 January 2015; Accepted 18 March 2015

Academic Editor: Matteo Paci

Copyright © 2015 Valentina Varalta et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this pilot cross-sectional study was to extensively investigate the relationships between cognitive performance and motor dysfunction involving balance and gait ability in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Twenty subjects with Parkinson’s disease underwent a cognitive (outcomes: Frontal Assessment Battery-Italian version, Montreal overall Cognitive Assessment, Trail Making Test, Semantic Verbal Fluency Test, and Memory with Interference Test) and motor (outcomes: Berg Balance Scale, 10-Meter Walking Test, 6-Minute Walking Test, Timed Up and Go Test performed also under dual task condition, and Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale) assessment. Our correlation analyses showed that balance skills are significantly correlated with executive functions, cognitive impairment, and ability to switch attention between two tasks. Furthermore, functional mobility showed a significant correlation with cognitive impairment, verbal fluency, and ability to switch attention between two tasks. In addition, the functional mobility evaluated under the dual task condition showed a significant correlation with cognitive impairment and ability to switch attention between two tasks. These findings might help early identification of cognitive deficits or motor dysfunctions in patients with Parkinson’s disease who may benefit from rehabilitative strategies. Future prospective larger-scale studies are needed to strengthen our results.