Grey matter abnormalities are associated only with severe cognitive decline in early stages of Parkinson's disease

Amee F. Wolters, Anja J. H. Moonen, Renaud Lopes, Albert F. G. Leentjens*, Annelien A. Duits, Luc Defebvre, Christine Delmaire, Paul A. Hofman, Frank C. van Bussel, Kathy Dujardin

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Cognitive impairment is common in Parkinson's disease (PD), yet with large heterogeneity in the range and course of deficits. In a cross-sectional study, 124 PD patients underwent extensive clinical and neuropsychological assessment as well as a 3T MRI scan of the brain. Our aim was to identify differences in grey matter volume and thickness, as well as cortical folding, across different cognitive profiles as defined through a data-driven exploratory cluster analysis of neuropsychological data. The identified cognitive groups ranged from cognitively intact patients to patients with severe deficits in all cognitive domains, whilst showing comparable levels of motor disability and disease duration. Each group was compared to the cognitively intact PD group using voxel- and vertex-based morphometry. Results revealed widespread age-related grey matter abnormalities associated with progressive worsening of cognitive functions in mild PD. When adjusted for age, significant differences were only seen between cognitively intact and severely affected PD patients and these were restricted to the right posterior cingulate and the right precuneus. Reduced cortical thickness was seen in the right inferior temporal gyrus and reduced folding in the right temporal region. As these differences were not associated with age, we assume that they are associated with underlying pathology of the cognitive decline. Given the limited involvement of grey matter differences, and the absence of differences in vascular changes across the groups, we hypothesize a more important role for white matter tract changes in cognitive decline in PD. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalCortex
Volume123
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Grey matter changes
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Dementia
  • SURFACE-BASED ANALYSIS
  • CORTICAL THICKNESS
  • RATING-SCALE
  • LEWY BODY
  • VISUAL HALLUCINATIONS
  • DIAGNOSTIC-CRITERIA
  • ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE
  • DEMENTIA
  • IMPAIRMENT
  • VALIDATION

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