Prevalence and characteristics of dementia in Parkinson disease: an 8-year prospective study

Arch Neurol. 2003 Mar;60(3):387-92. doi: 10.1001/archneur.60.3.387.


Background: Few longitudinal studies of dementia in Parkinson disease (PD) have been reported, and the proportion of patients with PD who eventually develop dementia is unknown.

Objective: To examine the 8-year prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors of dementia in patients with PD.

Methods: Patients were recruited from an epidemiological study of PD in the county of Rogaland, Norway, using explicit criteria for PD. Subjects with cognitive impairment at disease onset were excluded. A semistructured caregiver-based interview, cognitive rating scales, and neuropsychological tests were used to diagnose dementia according to criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Revised Third Edition at baseline and 4 and 8 years later. A population-based sample of 3295 subjects in the municipality of Odense, Denmark, was used as a comparison group and examined at baseline and after 2 and 5 years.

Results: We included 224 patients with PD (116 women). At baseline, 51 patients (26%) had dementia. Fifty-five patients died, and 10 refused follow-up without their dementia status known. Forty-three and 28 new cases of dementia were identified at the 4- and 8-year evaluations, respectively. The 4-year prevalence of dementia in PD was nearly 3 times higher than in the non-PD group. The 8-year prevalence in PD was 78.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 71.1-84.0). Risk factors for dementia were hallucinations before baseline (odds ratio [OR] = 3.1; 95% CI, 1.6-6.2) and akinetic-dominant or mixed tremor/akinetic PD (OR = 3.3; 95% CI, 1.2-8.5).

Conclusions: More than three quarters of this representative PD cohort developed dementia during the 8-year study period. Early hallucinations and akinetic-dominant PD were associated with an increased risk of dementia.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors