Some memory changes can happen simply with aging -- mild forgetfulness, misplacing keys or glasses, and difficulty recalling information quickly. When memory or thinking problems are out of proportion to what is expected with normal aginig, it may be due to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) -- a non-motor symptom that can be associated with Parkinson's disease (PD). MCI may cause difficulty with "executive functions," such as multitasking, concentrating and problem solving. No medications can currently prevent or reverse MCI in PD, but adaptive strategies and cognitive exercises can be helpful.
MCI doesn't always worsen, but if memory or thinking problems progress to the point where they significantly interfere with physical, occupational or social functions, dementia may be diagnosed. If dementia occurs in Parkinson's, it is more likely to happen in the later stages of disease.
Watch the video to learn more about how potential cognitive impairments in Parkinson's are evaluated and managed, why they occur, and what reserach is ongoing in this area.
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