Mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease versus Alzheimer's disease

Lilah M. Besser*, Irene Litvan, Sarah E. Monsell, Charles Mock, Sandra Weintraub, Xiao Hua Zhou, Walter Kukull

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Introduction No known studies have compared longitudinal characteristics between individuals with incident mild cognitive impairment due to Parkinson's disease (PD-MCI) versus Alzheimer's Disease (AD-MCI). Methods We used longitudinal data from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center's Uniform Data Set to compare 41 PD-MCI and 191 AD-MCI participants according to their demographics, presence of ≥1 APOE e4 allele, and baseline and change over time in clinical characteristics, neuropsychological test scores, and Clinical Dementia Rating sum of boxes (CDR-SB). Multivariable linear regression models with generalized estimating equations were used to account for clustered data and to test for baseline and longitudinal differences in neuropsychological test scores. Results PD-MCI and AD-MCI participants differed by many demographic and clinical characteristics. Significantly fewer PD-MCI participants developed dementia over one year. Compared to AD-MCI participants, PD-MCI participants performed better at baseline and over time on a global measure of cognition (Mini Mental State Exam), memory measures (immediate and delayed Logical Memory), and a language measure (Boston Naming Test), and additionally performed better over time on an attention measure (Digit Span Forward), a language measure (Vegetable List), a processing speed measure (Digit Symbol), and an overall measure of memory and functional impairment (CDR-SB). Conclusion Our study provides further evidence that PD-MCI is clinically distinct from AD-MCI and requires different tools for diagnosis and monitoring clinical progression. More importantly, this study suggests that PD-MCI takes longer to convert into dementia than AD-MCI, findings that require replication by other studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - 2016


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Clinical progression
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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