Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 371–378

Mild Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson’s Disease


DOI: 10.1007/s11910-011-0203-1

Cite this article as:
Aarsland, D., Brønnick, K. & Fladby, T. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep (2011) 11: 371. doi:10.1007/s11910-011-0203-1


Prospective studies conducted during the last decade have shown that the majority of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) develop dementia. In addition, using a variety of definitions and methods, more recent research suggests that approximately a quarter of PD patients without dementia have mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI). Furthermore, several studies have shown that approximately 20% have MCI even at time of diagnosis of PD. The typical cognitive deficits include visuospatial, attentional, and executive deficits, but memory deficits have also been shown. The etiology of PD-MCI is not known, but it is likely that mechanisms known to contribute to dementia in PD (ie, limbic and cortical Lewy bodies, amyloid plaques, and cholinergic deficits) play a role, in addition to dysfunction of dopaminergic frontostriatal circuits. PD-MCI predicts a shorter time to dementia, and preliminary evidence suggests that this is particularly true for posterior cognitive deficits. There are currently no systematic clinical trials in PD-MCI.


Parkinson’s diseaseCognitive impairmentDementiaVisuospatial functionsExecutive functionsMemoryAttentionImagingBiomarkerCerebrospinal fluidPathologyDopamineAcetylcholineNoradrenaline

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dag Aarsland
    • 1
    • 5
  • Kolbjørn Brønnick
    • 2
  • Tormod Fladby
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Age-Related Diseases, Division of PsychiatryStavanger University HospitalStavangerNorway
  2. 2.Norwegian Centre for Movement DisordersStavanger University HospitalStavangerNorway
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyAkershus University HospitalLørenskogNorway
  4. 4.Faculty Division Akershus University HospitalUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  5. 5.Karolinska Institutet, Department NVS, KI Alzheimer Disease Research CenterStockholmSweden