People with Parkinson's disease (PD) can develop multidomain cognitive impairments; however, it is unclear whether different pathologies underlie domain-specific cognitive dysfunction.We investigated the contribution of vascular copathology severity and location, as measured by MRI white matter hyperintensities (WMHs), to domain-specific cognitive impairment in PD.We studied 85 PD (66.6?±?9.2?years) and 18 control (65.9?±?6.6) participants. Using the Fazekas scale for rating the severity of WMH, we subdivided PD into 14 PD-WMH+ and 71 PD-WMH-. Participants underwent global, executive, visuospatial, episodic memory, and language testing. We performed nonparametric permutation testing to create WMH probability maps based on PD-WMH group and cognitive test performance.The PD-WMH+ group showed worse global and executive cognitive performance than the PD-WMH- group. On individual tests, the PD-WMH+ group showed worse Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Stroop, Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), and Digit Span scores. WMH probability maps showed that in the PD-WMH+ group, worse Stroop was associated with lesions centered around the corticospinal tract (CST), forceps major, inferior-fronto-occipital fasciculus, and superior longitudinal fasciculus; worse SDMT with lesions around the CST, forceps major, and posterior corona radiata; worse Digit Span with lesions around the posterior corona radiata; and worse MoCA with lesions around the CST.We found that WMH severity was associated with PD executive dysfunction, including worse attention, working memory, and processing speed. Disruption of key white matter tracts in proximity to vascular lesions could contribute to these specific cognitive impairments. Early treatment of vascular disease might mitigate some executive dysfunction in a subset of patients with PD.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mdc3.12956
View details for PubMedID 32775508
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7396844