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24 February 2014

Predicting dementia in Parkinson’s disease by combining neurophysiologic and cognitive markers

New research has found that combining objective cognitive assessment with neurophysiologic markers can substantially improve dementia risk profiling in Parkinson's disease.

In a study by K.T.E Dubbelink, et al, Parkinson's disease patients without dementia performed cognitive assessments of fronto-executive and posterior cognitive functions using selected Cantab tests, alongside magnetoencephalographic (MEG) and structural MRI recordings.

The computerized Cantab tests used in this research to assess cognitive function were:-

The research found that combining information from Cantab tests assessing working memory, and neurophysiologic markers (MEG) had the highest predicative ability of conversion to dementia in Parkinson's disease patients, compared to using these risk factors discretely.

This has future potential to help improve individual care and support development of more precise interventions of dementia through a combinatorial diagnostic approach. 

Alexandra Shortland, Operational Scientist at Cambridge Cognition commented, “This paper clearly demonstrates the importance of combining both cognitive assessments with neurophysiological markers for the predictive causality of dementia in patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The finding of this paper provides a vehicle for showing the proof of concept of an objective ‘integrated neuro-diagnostic tool’, to enable earlier identification of disease risk which may consequently lead to better treatment outcomes for patients.”

For further information on this and over 1,200 other peer reviewed Cantab papers, visit our bibliography.

To use Cantab cognitive assessment software in your research project contact us.