Journal of Neurology

, Volume 266, Issue 3, pp 745–754 | Cite as

Subjective cognitive decline and progression to dementia in Parkinson’s disease: a long-term follow-up study

  • Iván GaltierEmail author
  • Antonieta Nieto
  • Jesús N. Lorenzo
  • José Barroso
Original Communication



Increasing evidence suggests that subjective cognitive decline is associated with Alzheimer’s disease pathology and with an increased risk for future dementia development. However, the clinical value of subjective cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease (PD-SCD) is unclear. The aim of the present work was to characterize PD-SCD and its progression to dementia.


Forty-three PD patients and twenty normal controls were evaluated with a neuropsychological protocol. Patients were classified as PD-SCD and PD with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI). Follow-up assessment was conducted to a mean of 7.5 years after the baseline.


Thirteen patients were diagnosed with PD-SCD (30.2%) and 22 patients were classified as PD-MCI (51.2%) at the baseline. Difficulties in language (60.5%) and memory (51.5%) were the most frequent cognitive complaints. PD-MCI showed alterations in processing speed, executive functions, visuospatial skills, memory and language. No significant differences were found between normal controls and PD-SCD in any of the neuropsychological measures. Conversion to clinically diagnosed dementia during the follow-up was 50% in PD-MCI, 33.3% in PD-SCD and 14.3% in patients without subjective cognitive complaints. Discriminant function analyses and logistic regression analyses revealed that language domain and, especially memory domain are good predictors of dementia.


The present investigation is the first to conduct a long-term follow-up study of PD-SCD and its relationship with the development of dementia. The results provide relevant data about the characterization of SCD in PD patients and show that PD-SCD is a risk factor for progression to dementia.


Mild cognitive impairment Dementia Neuropsychological assessment Memory Follow-up study Risk factor 



This study was supported by a ULL-CajaCanarias Grant. The authors would like to thank Patrick Dennis for English proof reading.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical standard

All participants were informed about the aims of the investigation and participated voluntarily and gave their informed consent. The data were obtained in accordance with the regulations of the local ethics Committee and in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration for Human Research.

Supplementary material

415_2019_9197_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of La LagunaLa LagunaSpain
  2. 2.Departament of NeurologyN.S. La Candelaria University HospitalLa LagunaSpain

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