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Revista de la Asociación Española de Neuropsiquiatría

On-line version ISSN 2340-2733Print version ISSN 0211-5735


MESTAS HERNANDEZ, Lilia  and  SALVADOR CRUZ, Judith. Analysis of cognitive performance in patients with Parkinson disease: the importance of educational level. Rev. Asoc. Esp. Neuropsiq. [online]. 2013, vol.33, n.118, pp.245-255. ISSN 2340-2733.

Introduction: Vital experiences, among them education, enable people to tolerate the effects of pathology. In Parkinson disease (PD) this cognitive reserve could benefit the patient's cognitive performance and could act as an attenuator of derived symptoms from a possible associated dementia. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of educational level on the cognitive performance in a sample of patients with PD and to investigate if there is any type of relation between acquired educational level, cognitive deterioration and the beginning of the disease. Patients and method: the sample consisted of 30 patients diagnosed with Parkinson disease without dementia, that were distributed in three groups according to their educational level (basic, middle and high), they were assessed with the Mini Mental Parkinson (MMP) test as a measurement method for the cognitive performance, and the self applied Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI) scale to discard depressive disorders. Results: We obtained significant differences between the basic, the middle and the superior educational levels (p= 0,016, p= 0,003, respectively). We didn't find significant effects differences involving the age of beginning of PD among the three groups analyzed. The analysis made to the subtests of the MMP didn't show significant differences either. However, we obtained a moderate correlation between the memory subtest and the educational levels (r= 0,407, p< 0,005). Conclusions: The academic level may be affecting at some degree the cognitive performance in old age and act as an attenuator for the neurological pathology symptoms, improving the acquired brain abilities through experience (e.g. education). These results are interpreted in favor for the cognitive reserve hypothesis.

Keywords : Cognitive impairment; Parkinson Disease; Educational status; Cognitive reserve.

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