Neuroanatomical changes in early Parkinson’s disease with mild cognitive impairment: a VBM study; the Parkinson’s Disease Cognitive Impairment Study (PaCoS)

Roberto Monastero, Cesare Gagliardo, Antonina Luca, Giovanni Mostile, Giulia Donzuso, Loretta Giuliano, Calogero E. Cicero, Stefano Palmucci, Mario Zappia, Alessandra Nicoletti, Maria Caccamo, Roberta Baschi

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Abstract

Introduction: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is common in Parkinson’s disease (PD), but the underlying pathological mechanism has not been fully understood. Voxel-based morphometry could be used to evaluate regional atrophy and its relationship with cognitive performances in early PD-MCI. Patients and Methods: One hundred and six patients with PD were recruited from a larger cohort of patients, the Parkinson’s Disease Cognitive Impairment Study (PaCoS). Subject underwent a T1-3D MRI and a complete clinical and neuropsychological evaluation. Patients were divided into PD with normal cognition (PD-NC) and PD-MCI according to the MDS level II criteria–modified for PD-MCI. A subgroup of early patients with short disease duration (≤ 2 years) was also identified. VBM analysis between PD-NC and PD-MCI and between early PD-NC and PD-MCI was performed using two-sample t tests with whole-brain statistical threshold of p < 0.001 uncorrected in the entire PD group and p < 0.05 FWE inside ROIs, in the early PD. Results: Forty patients were diagnosed with MCI and 66 were PD-NC. PD-MCI patients showed significant gray matter (GM) reduction in several brain regions, including frontal gyrus, precuneus, angular gyrus, temporal lobe, and cerebellum. Early PD-MCI showed reduction in GM density in superior frontal gyrus and cerebellum. Moreover, correlation analysis between neuropsychological performances and GM volume of early PD-MCI patients showed associations between performances of Raven and superior frontal gyrus volume, Stroop time and inferior frontal gyrus volume, accuracy of Barrage and volume of precuneus. Conclusion: The detection of frontal and cerebellar atrophy, even at an early stage, could be used as an early marker of PD-related cognitive impairment.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalNeurological Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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