Poster Abstracts


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common progressive neurodegenerative disorder, and numerous studies have detailed cognitive deficits associated with the disease. However, little research has investigated cognition in newly diagnosed, untreated PD. As part of the Alabama Udall project, we administered a comprehensive cognitive battery to a cohort of 57 newly diagnosed, untreated persons with PD and 58 demographically similar controls. Cognitive data was divided into an overall cognitive composite score and seven cognitive domains (i.e., attention, verbal memory, visual memory, visuospatial ability, language, processing speed, and executive function) using z-score averages. For each domain, at least two tests were administered to meet Level II Movement Disorder Society (MDS) criteria. To analyze differences in cognitive performances between the study groups, independent t-tests were conducted. Results showed a significant difference in visuospatial ability (p=.031), with visual memory (p=.051), executive function (p=.062), and cognitive composite (p=.060) approaching significance. For all cognitive variables, mean scores were lower for the PD group. No significant differences were noted for demographic variables. In conclusion, our results demonstrated evidence that cognitive changes are prevalent and detectable in newly diagnosed, untreated PD, with the primary change being in visuospatial ability.

First AuthorChristopher Collette
Second AuthorLauren Ruffrage
Third AuthorKate Bryan
Fourth AuthorAllen Joop
Fifth AuthorAmy Amara
Sixth AuthorNatividad Stover
Seventh AuthorTalene Yacoubian
Eighth AuthorDavid Standaert
Ninth AuthorAdam Gerstenecker