This study tested (a) the hypothesis that Parkinson's disease (PD), thought to result in disturbed neuronal outflow from the striatum, leads to circumscribed deficits in cognitive functions presumed to be dependent on the functional integrity of the frontal lobes and (b) whether such deficits could account for previously reported memory and visuoperceptual difficulties in PD. Nondemented PD patients (n = 19) were demographically matched to 19 normal elderly control subjects. Three categories of tests were given: (a) tests sensitive to frontal system dysfunction, (b) tests of learning and memory, and (c) tests of visuoperceptual and visuoconstructive skills. Nondemented PD patients demonstrated selective deficits on frontal system tasks: tests of learning and memory and of visuoperceptual and visuoconstructive skill were not significantly impaired once performance on the frontal related tasks was statistically covaried. Results are consistent with the striatofrontal outflow model of neuropsychological impairment in nondemented PD patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology