It is Now Possible to Identify Parkinson's Patients at Risk of Dementia

by Kathy Jones on  March 11, 2014 at 3:40 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Newly published research suggests that it may now be possible to identify the first-stage Parkinson's patients who will go on to develop dementia.
 It is Now Possible to Identify Parkinson's Patients at Risk of Dementia
It is Now Possible to Identify Parkinson's Patients at Risk of Dementia

This study was conducted at the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal by Dr. Oury Monchi, PhD, and his postdoctoral student, Dr. Alexandru Hanganu, MD, PhD, both of whom are affiliated with Université de Montréal. These findings were published in the journal Brain.

Although Parkinson's disease is generally associated with motor problems such as trembling or rigidity, people with this disease actually have a ¬six times greater risk of developing dementia compared to the rest of the ¬population¬. In this first longitudinal study in this field, 32 patients in the first stages of Parkinson's disease were followed for 20 months. Some of the patients had mild cognitive impairments while others did not. A control group of 18 healthy people were also followed.

"Using magnetic resonance imaging, we found thinning in certain cortical areas as well as subcortical atrophy in the grey matter of subjects with mild cognitive impairments. Thanks to our longitudinal approach, we were able to observe that this thinning speeds up in conjunction with the increase in cognitive problems," explained Dr. Monchi. This specific brain deterioration combined with the early presence of mild cognitive impairments could serve as markers for the development of dementia.

Dr. Monchi stressed the importance of these findings: "This study opens the door to further research, for example, on medication or on non-pharmacological approaches such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. It's important for these patients to be identified very quickly before they develop dementia so that a therapeutic approach can be adapted to their specific needs."

An estimated 100,000 Canadians have Parkinson's. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's.

Source: Eurekalert

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

View All