Parkinson disease (PD) and cardiovascular risk factors are independent risk factors for cognitive impairment, according to a recent study. Generally, the influence of cardiovascular risk factors on cognition is similar in PD patients and control. Researchers evaluated a sample that included 67 PD patients and 61 older controls (total n=128). Participants completed neuropsychological measures of executive functioning, processing speed, verbal delayed recall/memory, language, and auditory attention. Cardiovascular risk was assessed with the Framingham Cardiovascular Risk index. They found:
- Hierarchical regressions revealed that more severe cardiovascular risk was related to worse executive functioning, processing speed, and delayed verbal recall in both Parkinson patients and controls.
- More severe cardiovascular risk was related to worse language functioning in the PD group, but not controls.
- In contrast, leukoaraiosis related to both cardiovascular risk and executive functioning for controls, but not the PD group.
Jones JD, Tanner JJ, Okun M, Price CC, Bowers D. Are Parkinson's patients more vulnerable to the effects of cardiovascular risk: A neuroimaging and neuropsychological study. [Published online ahead of print February 6, 2017]. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. doi:10.1017/S1355617717000017.