Brain Changes May Be Tied to Parkinson's
MONDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they've
spotted brain abnormalities that may be linked to dementia in
people with Parkinson's disease.
Many Parkinson's patients develop dementia and many of those who
aren't diagnosed with dementia have mild cognitive impairment (a
state that can precede dementia), according to background
information in study.
The study used MRI scans of the brains of 84 Parkinson's
patients -- 61 with normal mental abilities, 12 with mild cognitive
impairment, and 11 with dementia as well as 23 healthy people.
The scans showed that the Parkinson's patients with dementia
appeared to have more brain atrophy in the hippocampal, temporal
and parietal lobes of the brain. People with Parkinson's and
dementia also tended to have decreased prefrontal cortex volume
compared to Parkinson's patients without dementia.
Parkinson's patients with mild cognitive impairment had a
pattern of brain atrophy that was similar to those with
The study, which only found associations and cannot prove cause
and effect, is published in the December issue of the journal
Archives of Neurology.
As awareness of Parkinson's link to dementia grows, insights
that can help further research and aid in the care of these
patients will become increasingly important, Dr. Daniel Weintraub,
of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and colleagues
said in the study.
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