A few minutes of data recorded from a single electrode placed on top of the head may be sufficient to predict thinking problems, including dementia, in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The finding from a new University of Iowa study might help improve diagnosis of cognitive disability in PD and develop new biomarkers and targeted therapies for cognitive symptoms of the disease.
“Cognitive decline, including dementia, is a significant and underappreciated symptom of Parkinson’s disease. Around 30% of patients can have cognitive symptoms at the beginning of the disease, and up to 80% will have cognitive problems at some point in their disease,” says Nandakumar Narayanan, MD, Ph.D., associate professor of neurology at the UI Carver College of Medicine and senior author of the new study, which is published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. “Furthermore, although we have quite a few effective treatments for the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s, including medical therapies and deep brain stimulation, we have very few treatments for the cognitive aspects of Parkinson’s disease.”