Change in cognitive function in idiopathic Parkinson disease

Kathryn A. Bayles, Cheryl K. Tomoeda, Jody A. Wood, Erwin B. Montgomery, Robyn F. Cruz, Tamiko Azuma, Anna McGeagh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective: To study the effects of Parkinson disease (PD) on cognitive function by determining the frequency and amount of change in Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) performance. Design: During a 4-year period, 77 patients with idiopathic PD and 43 normal elders were administered a neuropsychological test battery twice at 2 years apart. Results: A 4-point score difference on the MMSE was the amount that was statistically calculated to be a significant difference at the .05 probability level. Using this metric, 17 (22%) patients with PD had a change in their MMSE performance during a 2-year period. Fifteen individuals performed poorer, and 2 individuals improved. Using the same metric, no normal subjects changed in their MMSE performance. The groups of patients with PD who had a change and did not have a change in their MMSE performance were not characterized by significant differences in their years of education, duration of illness, age at onset, age at test time 1, estimated premorbid intelligence, Hamilton Psychiatric Rating Scale for Depression score at test time 1, or Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale score. The singular difference was the higher frequency of change that was found in subjects who were taking dopamine agonists at the second test time. Conclusion: A change in cognitive function in patients with PD, as measured by a change of 4 points or more in their MMSE performance, was observed in only 22% of a sample of 77 patients with idiopathic PD during a 2 year period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1140-1146
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Neurology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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