Slowing of number naming speed by King-Devick Test in Parkinson's disease

Tanya P. Lin, Charles H. Adler, Joseph G. Hentz, Laura J. Balcer, Steven L. Galetta, Steve Devick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: The King-Devick (KD) test measures the speed of rapid number naming, and is postulated to require fast eye movements, attention, language, and possibly other aspects of cognitive functions. While used in multiple sports concussion studies, it has not been applied to the field of movement disorders. Methods: Forty-five Parkinson's disease (PD), 23 essential tremor (ET), and 65 control subjects were studied. Subjects performed two trials of reading out loud single-digit numbers separated by varying spacing on three test cards that were of different formats. The sum time of the faster trial was designated the KD score and compared across the three groups. Results: PD patients had higher (worse) KD scores, with longer reading times compared to ET and control subjects (66s vs. 49s vs. 52s, p<0.001, adjusting for age and gender). No significant difference was found between ET and control (δ=-3s, 95%CI:-10 to 4). Conclusions: This is the first study of the King-Devick Test in Parkinson's disease. PD patients were found to have a slower rapid number naming speed compared to controls. This test may be a simple and rapid bedside tool for quantifying correlates of visual and cognitive function in Parkinson's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-229
Number of pages4
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Cognitive function
  • Eye movements
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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