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Cognitive reserve in Parkinson’s Disease


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Cannan, PM 2014 , 'Cognitive reserve in Parkinson’s Disease', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Parkinson’s Disease is among the most common neurodegenerative disease affecting individuals worldwide. In addition to the motor symptoms that are present in the disease there are significant cognitive impairments that people with Parkinson’s Disease experience as part of the disease process that cause significant disability. The concept of protective factors against cognitive decline, known as cognitive reserve, have been investigated and demonstrated in other dementia populations. These indicators include pre-morbid IQ, education level and participation in lifestyle activities. This study aimed to investigate whether cognitive reserve is present in people with Parkinson’s Disease, with consideration given to existing measures and the influence of mood disorders on cognition in the population.
88 Participants were administered a comprehensive neuropsychological battery including overall and specific cognitive function measures, pre-morbid IQ, lifestyle activity participation, mood and demographic factors. Cognitive decline scores were calculated by comparison of current and pre-morbid IQ scores and these compared to potential cognitive reserve measures and mood factors.
Previously identified indicators of cognitive reserve were not confirmed in the results, though the regular playing of musical instruments was identified as a potential factor for further investigation. Pre-morbid IQ and education demonstrated an increase in decline rather than a decrease which is attributed to Wilder’s law of initial values. Mood factors were shown to affect cognition in the Parkinson’s Disease population highlighting their importance in the treatment of the disease.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Cannan, PM
Keywords: Parkinson's disease, mood, pre morbid IQ, RBANS, cognitive reserve, dementia, Neurosychology
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