Functional Imaging Supports Improved Cognition in Parkinson’s Disease Patients After REHACOP

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Functional imaging data supports improved cognition in Parkinson’s disease patients after receiving cognitive rehabilitation, according to a study released today at the 1st Pan American Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Congress.

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This analysis represents a significant contribution by linking the clinical benefits of a novel intervention to the changes in functional imaging.

Functional imaging data supports improved cognition in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients after receiving cognitive rehabilitation, according to a study released today at the 1st Pan American Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Congress.

It is already known that cognitive rehabilitation programs are proven to be effective in improving cognitive function in PD patients. This study, led by Ibarretxe-Bilbao et al., investigated structural and functional cerebral changes associated with cognitive rehabilitation in PD.

The study randomly divided 42 PD patients into a control and an experimental group, which received REHACOP, a cognitive rehabilitation program commonly used in psychosis and schizophrenia. The control group received only occupational activities. After treatment, the experimental group showed significant improvements in cognition and functional disability compared to the control group. While no significant structural changes were found between pre- and post-treatment, significant functional cerebral changes in PD patients was seen through resting-state and memory task-related fMRI.

Peter Schmidt, Senior Vice President and Chief Mission Officer at the National Parkinson Foundation, states, “Cognitive change is often the greatest concern for people with Parkinson’s, and we have seen in several studies that cognitive interventions can make a difference in patient outcomes. This study by Dr. Ibarretxe-Bilbao and colleagues takes this to the next step by providing insight into the mechanisms. While improving functional outcomes is our end goal, the best insight into how to optimize them usually comes from understanding the underlying biology. This analysis represents a significant contribution by linking the clinical benefits of a novel intervention to the changes in functional imaging.”

About the 1st Pan American Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Congress: Meeting attendees gather to learn about the latest research findings and relevant issues in the field of Movement Disorders specific to North, Central and South America. Over 400 physicians and medical professionals will be able to view over 150 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from the Pan American region and throughout the world.

About the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society: The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS), an international society of over 5,000 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about MDS, visit http://www.movementdisorders.org.

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Elizabeth Clausen
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