- •We compare the neuropsychological profile of 12 VP, 15 PD and 13 healthy controls.
- •VP patients develop cognitive impairment with higher frequency than healthy controls.
- •VP patients have more global pattern of cognitive impairment than previously thought.
- •Cognitive impairment pattern includes executive function, verbal memory and language.
- •Only visuospatial function is more impaired in PD than in healthy controls.
The clinical profile in vascular parkinsonism (VP) patients is well described in the literature, but little is known about the neuropsychological features of this disease. The aim of our study was to evaluate the clinical characteristics and the profile of cognitive impairment in patients with VP.
We prospectively evaluated 12 patients with VP, 15 with Parkinson's disease (PD) and 13 healthy controls (HC) with similar age and sex distribution. Different clinical and demographic details were collected. All subjects underwent detailed neurological and neuropsychological examinations. The neuropsychological tests included analysis of global efficiency, executive function, verbal memory, language and visuospatial function.
VP patients exhibited lower disease duration, older age at onset and higher frequency of cardiovascular risk factors. Non-motor symptoms were found to be more frequent in PD. We found that VP patients developed cognitive impairment with a significantly higher frequency than HC of a similar age. Additionally, we found that these patients had a global pattern of cognitive impairment, including executive function, verbal memory and language. Only visuospatial function was more impaired in PD than in HC.
Our data contribute to clarify the pattern of neuropsychological impairment in VP. Therefore, in the clinical evaluation, besides assessing the motor status of the patient, given that these symptoms are frequently found not to be self-reported complaints, the neurologist should evaluate them routinely as a comprehensive assessment of this disease.
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Published online: July 28, 2014
Accepted: July 21, 2014
Received in revised form: July 10, 2014
Received: March 14, 2014
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.