B-4Relation Between Objective Measurements of Activities of Daily Living and Cognition in Non-Demented Parkinson's Disease

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Objective: Self-report questionnaires are often used to examine the relation of cognition to impairments in activities of daily living (ADL) in Parkinson's disease (PD). We assessed the validity of such findings through the use of objective ADL tasks and also explored the contributions of vision and motor functioning to ADL performance. Method: We assessed 23 mild-to-moderate nondemented PD patients. ADL tasks included using a telephone, measuring dry and wet ingredients, counting change, and organizing medications into a weekly planner. Cognition measures included global cognitive status, verbal fluency, learning, and memory. Motor function (pegboard) and visual contrast sensitivity were also assessed. Results: Accuracy was high for all conditions; correlations are reported for ADL reaction time (RT). A significant correlation was observed between making a phone call and total recall acquisition (r = .42; p = .044). Other ADL measures did not correlate with cognition. Contrast sensitivity at low spatial frequencies (1.5 and 3 cycles per degree) correlated with measuring wet ingredients (r = −.75 and r = −.54, respectively; both p < 0.01). Motor functioning correlated with measuring dry (r = −.56; p = .005) and wet ingredients (r = −.58; p = .003) and counting change (r = −.47; p = .025). Conclusions: These findings indicated that cognition in non-demented PD patients plays a limited role in ADL performance as indexed by RT, and revealed that vision and motor functioning may be as important as cognition in this regard. The discrepancy in findings between self-report and objective measures of ADLs requires further investigation.

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