Neuropsychology of subcortical dementias

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 1997 Dec;20(4):911-31. doi: 10.1016/s0193-953x(05)70352-x.


Subcortical dementias are a heterogeneous group of disorders that share primary pathology in subcortical structure and a characteristic pattern of neuropsychological impairment. This article describes the neurobiological and cognitive features of three prototypical subcortical dementias, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and progressive supranuclear palsy, concentrating of traits shared by disorders. Clinical features are also discussed, especially those which differentiate subcortical dementias from cortical dementias, such as Alzheimer's disease. The cortical-subcortical nomenclature has been criticized over the years, but it continues to provide an effective means of classifying dementia profiles in clinically and theoretically useful ways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Cognition Disorders / classification
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Corpus Striatum / pathology
  • Corpus Striatum / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease* / complications
  • Huntington Disease* / physiopathology
  • Neural Pathways / pathology
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parkinson Disease* / complications
  • Parkinson Disease* / physiopathology
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive* / complications
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive* / physiopathology
  • Terminology as Topic