Progress in characterization of the nature, neural basis, and treatment of cognitive deficits in Parkinson's disease is reviewed from the perspective of cognitive neuroscience. An initial emphasis on fronto-striatal executive deficits is surveyed along with the discoveries of disruption as well as remediation of certain impairments by dopaminergic mediation and their association with theories of reinforcement learning. Subsequent focus on large cohorts has revealed considerable heterogeneity in the cognitive impairments as well as a suggestion of at least two distinct syndromes, with the dopamine-dependent fronto-striatal deficits being somewhat independent of other signs commonly associated with Parkinson's disease dementia. The utility is proposed of a new, integrated cognitive neuroscience approach based on combining genetic and neuroimaging methodologies with neuropsychological and, ultimately, psychopharmacological approaches.
Keywords: attention; cognition; dopamine; executive function; memory; prefrontal cortex; striatum.
© 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.