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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2016, Article ID 3217960, 8 pages
Review Article

Structural Neuroimaging Markers of Cognitive Decline in Parkinson’s Disease

Alexandru Hanganu1,2 and Oury Monchi1,2,3,4,5

1Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Department of Radiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4
2Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 4N1
3Centre de Recherche, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada H3W 1W5
4McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 0G4
5Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada H3T 1J4

Received 24 October 2015; Revised 28 January 2016; Accepted 16 February 2016

Academic Editor: Nicola Modugno

Copyright © 2016 Alexandru Hanganu and Oury Monchi. 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.


Cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease is a major challenge since it has been established that 25 to 40% of patients will develop cognitive impairment early in the disease. Furthermore, it has been reported that up to 80% of Parkinsonian patients will eventually develop dementia. Thus, it is important to improve the diagnosing procedures in order to detect cognitive impairment at early stages of development and to delay as much as possible the developing of dementia. One major challenge is that patients with mild cognitive impairment exhibit measurable cognitive deficits according to recently established criteria, yet those deficits are not severe enough to interfere with daily living, hence being avoided by patients, and might be overseen by clinicians. Recent advances in neuroimaging brain analysis allowed the establishment of several anatomical markers that have the potential to be considered for early detection of cognitive impairment in Parkinsonian patients. This review aims to outline the neuroimaging possibilities in diagnosing cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease and to take into consideration the near-future possibilities of their implementation into clinical practice.