Cognitive Differences Between Patients with Left-sided and Right-sided Parkinson’s Disease. A Review
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- Verreyt, N., Nys, G.M.S., Santens, P. et al. Neuropsychol Rev (2011) 21: 405. doi:10.1007/s11065-011-9182-x
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At disease onset, patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) typically report one side of the body to be more affected than the other. Previous studies have reported that this motor symptom asymmetry is associated with asymmetric dopaminergic degeneration in the brain. Research on the cognitive repercussions of this asymmetric degeneration has yielded inconsistent results. Here, we review studies that reported on the cognitive performance of patients with left-sided (LPD) or right-sided (RPD) motor symptom predominance. We present evidence that patients with RPD typically experience problems with language-related tasks and verbal memory, whereas patients with LPD more often perform worse on tasks of spatial attention, visuospatial orienting and memory and mental imagery. In general, no differences were found between both groups on tasks measuring attention and executive function. The association between motor asymmetry and cognitive performance indicates that PD does not lead to one typical cognitive profile. The effect of symptom laterality on the cognitive complaints should be considered in the assessment and treatment of each individual patient.