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Parkinson Disease Dementia (cont.)

Diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease Dementia

There is no definitive medical test that confirms cognitive decline or dementia in Parkinson's disease. The most accurate way to measure cognitive decline is through neuropsychological testing.

  • The testing involves answering questions and performing tasks that have been carefully designed for this purpose. It is carried out by a specialist in this kind of testing.
  • Neuropsychological testing addresses the individual's appearance, mood, anxiety level, and experience of delusions or hallucinations.
  • It assesses cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, orientation to time and place, use of language, and abilities to carry out various tasks and follow instructions.
  • Reasoning, abstract thinking, and problem solving are tested.
  • Neuropsychological testing gives a more accurate diagnosis of the problems and thus can help in treatment planning.
  • The tests are repeated periodically to see how well treatment is working and check for new problems.

Imaging studies: Generally, brain scans such as CT scan and MRI are of little use in diagnosing dementia in people with Parkinson's disease. Positron emission tomographic (PET) scan may help distinguish dementia from depression and similar conditions in Parkinson's disease.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/30/2014

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Parkinson disease (Parkinson's disease, PD) is a disabling, progressive condition that is predominantly thought of as a movement disorder.

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