Parkinson’s Disease Patients Demonstrate High Risk for Dementia

Published Online: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
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Parkinson’s disease patients may be at a greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease according to the findings of a recent population-based study.

The study, published in the November 2012 issue of Alzheimer’s & Dementia, analyzed the risk of dementia in patients with newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease. Researchers studied 3726 participants older than 65 years living at home in France. Participants were screened for Parkinson’s disease, cognitive ability, and dementia repeatedly during a 15-year period. Researchers also considered medical history, mobility, daily activities, and basic demographic information when analyzing the results.

Researchers found that 41% of participants diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease developed dementia. Participants had a 25% risk of developing dementia 5 years after the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and a 50% chance 10 years after diagnosis. The researchers estimated the incidence of dementia in Parkinson’s disease to be 74 per 1000 cases per year.

The researchers conclude, “[Parkinson’s disease] represents a high-risk stage for dementia in the general population.”

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