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Structural Neuroimaging Markers of Cognitive Decline in Parkinson’s Disease
Cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease is a major challenge since it has been established that 25 to 40% of patients will develop cognitive impairment early in the disease. Furthermore, it has been reported that up to 80% of Parkinsonian patients will eventually develop dementia. Thus, it is important to improve the diagnosing procedures in order to detect cognitive impairment at early stages of development and to delay as much as possible the developing of dementia. One major challenge is that patients with mild cognitive impairment exhibit measurable cognitive deficits according to recently established criteria, yet those deficits are not severe enough to interfere with daily living, hence being avoided by patients, and might be overseen by clinicians. Recent advances in neuroimaging brain analysis allowed the establishment of several anatomical markers that have the potential to be considered for early detection of cognitive impairment in Parkinsonian patients. This review aims to outline the neuroimaging possibilities in diagnosing cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease and to take into consideration the near-future possibilities of their implementation into clinical practice.
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