Cognitive rehabilitation for executive dysfunction in Parkinson's disease: application and current directions

Parkinsons Dis. 2012:2012:512892. doi: 10.1155/2012/512892. Epub 2011 Nov 2.


Cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson's disease contributes to disability, caregiver strain, and diminished quality of life. Cognitive rehabilitation, a behavioral approach to improve cognitive skills, has potential as a treatment option to improve and maintain cognitive skills and increase quality of life for those with Parkinson's disease-related cognitive dysfunction. Four cognitive rehabilitation programs in individuals with PD are identified from the literature. Characteristics of the programs and outcomes are reviewed and critiqued. Current studies on cognitive rehabilitation in PD demonstrate feasibility and acceptability of a cognitive rehabilitation program for patients with PD, but are limited by their small sample size and data regarding generalization of effects over the long term. Because PD involves progressive heterogeneous physical, neurological, and affective difficulties, future cognitive rehabilitation programs should aim for flexibility and individualization, according to each patient's strengths and deficits.