Introduction

The Parkinson's-Reversing Breakthrough

What is Parkinsons Disease

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This chapter first acquaints the reader with basic distinctions between the clinical "brain-behavior" disciplines, namely neuropsychology, behavioral neurology, and neuropsychiatry. After describing the most common approaches to neuropsychological evaluation and the goals of neuropsychological evaluation in Parkinson's disease (PD), the chapter highlights the cognitive alterations that most frequently accompany PD and those that occur in and differentiate dementias seen in PD from other neurodegenerative conditions. A discussion of the impact of emotional comorbidity on cognition makes clear the importance of treating anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric symptoms, in optimizing the afflicted person's functioning and quality of life. Both medical and surgical treatments have the potential to impact cognition. Only a sparse literature devotes itself to treatment-related neurobehavioral complications, and less frequent improvements. The chapter concludes with a brief comparison of the most common cognitive alterations, accompanying parkinsonian and related syndromes such as multiple system atrophy (MSA), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and essential tremor. Although the neuropsychological features in parkinsonian syndromes probably lack the specificity and sensitivity to be of differential diagnostic utility, the neurobehavioral differences observed among groups of patients with various disorders can guide diagnostic hypotheses, treatment planning, and inform about the plural neurobehavioral roles of the basal ganglia.

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