Cognitive deficits in Parkinson’s disease (PD) are heterogeneous entities, and the cognitive status fluctuates over time. However, individual changes in longitudinal cognitive performance in PD are not fully understood. We evaluated three visual indices (visuoperception, visuoconstruction, and visuospatial ability) and four cognitive domains (attention/working memory, executive function, memory, and language) at baseline (Time1) and at 1-year follow-up (Time2) in 36 patients with PD and 32 healthy controls (HCs). To explore the magnitude and frequency of cognitive changes, we analyzed data using the simple difference method and the standardized regression-based method. We also explored the correlations between changes in test scores and several clinical predictors, using logistic regression analysis. At 1 year, patients with PD showed higher rates of change in scores on several cognitive tests, especially the Incomplete Letters test of visuoperception, compared to HCs. After adjusting for demographic variables, the visuoperceptual change was 61.1% overall, with the largest effect size. The changes in scores of visuoperception correlated with those of memory (r = 0.672, p < 0.001), language (r = 0.389, p < 0.05), and visuospatial ability (r = 0.379, p < 0.05). The severity of olfactory disturbance, the MDS-UPDRS Part I score, and younger PD onset predicted the significant changes observed in the Incomplete Letters test scores. Visuoperception changed more in non-demented PD patients than in HCs at 1-year follow-up. The changes in visuoperception could relate to involvement of the ventral occipitotemporal pathway, the more widespread temporal lobe, and brain reserve in PD.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry