What is the difference between mild cognitive impairment and Parkinson's dementia?

3 answers | Last updated: Oct 04, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

What is the difference between mild cognitive impairment and Parkinson's dementia?

Expert Answers

Graham A. Glass, MD, is the deputy director of the San Francisco Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Care Center (PADRECC) and an assistant clinical professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He completed a fellowship in movement disorders at the Mayo Clinic.

Mild cognitive impairment implies that a patient is not normal in one or more "domains" of memory, but is not severly struggling in these areas to a degree that it impacts day to day function badly. PD with dementia is thought to be more severe and often patients with PDD (Parkinsons Disease with Dementia) can have hallucinations, confusion, difficulty with visuo-spacial skills (getting one's leg in the right hole of the pants etc.) and or problems with executive function (making good decisions etc). In some cases, we think that MCI may preceed PDD, but this is not always the case.

Community Answers

Lefty.gg answered...

I read something about a connection between PD and gout, I have gout (controlled). My PD progresses at an exceptionally slow rate. Some neurologists say I do not have PD and others say I do. If I don't.... what do I have..... as they wil not say. My PD symptoms come and go. Inability to turn over in bed, stuck feet, stoop, minimal tremor (I'm 84), excess sebum, gait disorder, slight balance problem and I bend at the waist involuntarily while I am shaving or walking and have fallen when my center of gravity shifts to outside my base. One neurologist said that was specific for PD. Memory still very good (people are amazed at what I remember and how far back I can go). I live at an assisted living facility with my wife of 60 years. Swallowing big pills has become a problem. My physiatrist ordered therapy for it.

I had a stroke in 06 with minimal residual effects (weakness on left side of my body). They found evidence of an earlier stroke and a lacune. I also have scoliosis and a siezure disorder since age 11 but no seizures since 12 but I spike on the EEG with hyperventilation. I continue to take Dilantin since 12. No side effects with gums, etc.

Lefty2g answered...

I was under the impression that PD dementia is dementia with PD symptoms while dementia by itself has no PD symptoms. I would think PD dementia is more serious because the patient is battling 2 disorders and either, by itself, is serious enough.

I am not a doctor, however, I have these symptoms and Board Certified Neurologists disagree about my diagnosis. Those that say I do not have PD have no answer for my symptoms. If it really is PD it is progressing at an extremely slow rate. I am not sorry about that. At least there is no pain. My symptoms come and go. It is weird.

If they knew what it is, perhaps, I could do something about it. I'm in the Boston area and there are plenty of excellent doctors.

I just read that PD patients have an increase in MELANOMAS and CANCER of the PROSTATE that is also seen in their offspring.