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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2013, Article ID 912037, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Predictors of Cognitive Decline in the Early Stages of Parkinson's Disease: A Brief Cognitive Assessment Longitudinal Study

1Neurology Department, Hospital de Egas Moniz, CHLO, Rua da Junqueira 126, 1349-019 Lisbon, Portugal
2CEDOC and Neurology Department, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas (FCM), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL), Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, 130, 1169-056 Lisbon, Portugal

Received 4 June 2013; Revised 9 September 2013; Accepted 13 September 2013

Academic Editor: P. Martinez Martin

Copyright © 2013 Paulo Bugalho and Miguel Viana-Baptista. 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.


Our objectives were to perform a longitudinal assessment of mental status in early stage Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients, with brief neuropsychological tests, in order to find predictive factors for cognitive decline. Sixty-one, early stage, and nondemented patients were assessed twice, over a 2-year interval, with a global cognitive test (mini-mental state examination (MMSE)) and a frontal function test (frontal assessment battery (FAB)) and motor function scales. Dementia and hallucinations were diagnosed according to the DSM-IV criteria. Cognitive function scores did not decrease significantly, except for FAB lexical fluency score. Four patients presented with dementia at followup. The MMSE score below cut-off, worse gait dysfunction, the nontremor motor subtype, and hallucinations were significantly related to dementia. Rigidity and speech dysfunction were related to dementia and a decrease in FAB scores. We can conclude that decline in the MMSE and FAB scores is small and heterogeneous in the early stages of PD. Scores below cut-off in the MMSE could be helpful to predict dementia. Nontremor motor deficits could be predictive factors for frontal cognitive decline and dementia.