Side and Type of Initial Motor Symptom Influences Visuospatial Functioning in Parkinson’s Disease

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Background/Objectives: Visuospatial problems are common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and likely stem from dysfunction in dopaminergic pathways and consequent disruption of cortical functioning. Characterizing the motor symptoms at disease onset provides a method of observing how dysfunction in these pathways influences visuospatial cognition. We examined two types of motor characteristics: Body side (left or right) and type of initial symptom (tremor or symptom other than tremor).

Methods: 31 non-demented patients with PD, 16 with left-side onset (LPD) and 15 with right-side onset (RPD), as well as 17 healthy control participants (HC). The PD group was also divided by type of initial motor symptom, 15 having tremor as the initial symptom and 16 having an initial symptom other than tremor. Visuospatial function was assessed with the Clock Drawing Test.

Results: Of the four Clock Drawing scoring methods used, the Rouleau method showed sensitivity to subgroup differences. As predicted, the LPD and non-tremor subgroups, but not the other subgroups, performed more poorly than the HC group.

Conclusion: The findings provide further evidence for differences in cognition between these subtypes of PD and highlight the importance of considering disease subtypes when examining cognition.

Original Citation

Seichepine, D.R., Neargarder, S., Davidsdottir, S., Reynolds, G.O., Cronin-Golomb, A. (2014). Side and Type of Initial Motor Symptom Influences Visuspatial Functioning in Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of Parkinson’s Disease,5(1), 75-83. https://doi.org/10.3233/JPD-140365