Neuropathological Findings in Parkinson's Disease With Mild Cognitive Impairment

Molly G. Knox, Charles H. Adler, Holly A. Shill, Erika Driver-Dunckley, Shyamal A. Mehta, Christine Belden, Edward Zamrini, Geidy Serrano, Marwan N. Sabbagh, John N. Caviness, Lucia I. Sue, Kathryn J. Davis, Brittany N. Dugger, Thomas G. Beach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: There are few neuropathological studies on Parkinson's disease with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI). Those published reveal coexisting Lewy body and Alzheimer's disease pathology. Our objective is to determine the pathology that underlies PD-MCI. Methods: We used data from the Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders, a longitudinal clinicopathological study. Of 736 autopsied subjects with standardized movement and cognitive assessments, 25 had PD-MCI. Neuropathological findings, including Lewy body and Alzheimer's disease pathology, were compared in PD subjects with amnestic MCI (A-MCI) and nonamnestic MCI (NA-MCI). Results: Significant pathological heterogeneity within PD-MCI was found. This included varying Lewy body stages, Alzheimer's disease pathology, and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. There was a significant increase in the severity of Lewy body pathology (meeting The Unified Staging System for Lewy Body disorders neocortical stage) in nonamnestic MCI (7/1, 63%) when compared with amnestic MCI (3/14, 21%, P = 0.032). Conclusion: Although a small study, distinct pathological changes may contribute to PD-MCI phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-850
Number of pages6
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Parkinson's disease
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • neurodegenerative disorders
  • neuropathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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