Cognitive/Psychiatric (Behavior) Working Group

Formed: 2006

Led by: Gregory Pontone, MD, MHS, Chair | Kelly Mills, MD, MHS, Co-chair | Roseanne Dobkin, PhD, Co-chair

The primary goals of the Cognitive/Psychiatric Working Group are to:

  1. Increase awareness of cognitive/behavioral aspects of PD among clinicians, researchers, and patients.

  2. Develop and conduct multidisciplinary, translational research studies investigating the cognitive and behavioral symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

  3. Assist in design and conduct of PSG clinical trials to incorporate optimal tools for measuring cognition and behavior.

  4. Foster collaboration and provide guidance to PSG members in developing investigator initiated studies on cognition and behavior in PD.

Each working group has a mandate statement that describes the goals of the working group, potential scope of working group activity, examples of ideas for projects, and procedures for member initiated proposals. A pre-proposal request form is provided to submit preliminary proposals/ideas to working groups to provide feedback and discussions that will help the investigator to improve the plan and potentially to prepare a more complete proposal for submission to the PSG Scientific Review Committee or for a submission to other funding agencies. Click on the links below to access the documents.

  1. The Working Group (PI: Ergun Uc) completed a data-mining study examining the clinical predictors and incidence of cognitive impairment and depression in early PD using the DATATOP cohort.

    • The incidence of cognitive impairment in clinical trial participants in early PD was relatively low. The study found potential novel predictors of cognitive impairment in PD such as bulbar dysfunction and presence gastrointestinal/urologic symptoms suggestive of early autonomic dysfunction. These results were presented at the Derek Denny-Brown Symposium (2008 ANA meeting) by Dr. Uc and published in Neurology.

    Uc EY, McDermott MP, Marder KS, Anderson SW, Litvan I, Como P, Auinger P, Chou KL, Growdon J, on behalf of the Parkinson Study Group. Incidence of and Risk Factors for Cognitive Impairment in an Early Parkinson’s Disease Clinical Trial Cohort. Neurology, 2009; 73:1469–1477.

    • The results of the depression component were presented in a platform session at the 2009 AAN meeting (Uc EY, McDermott MP, Weintraub D, Marsh L, Growdon J, Chou K, Auinger P, Marder K, on behalf of the PSG DATATOP Investigators. Predictors of Depression in Early Parkinson’s Disease. Neurology 2009; 72(11):A257-A258.) and a paper is being drafted.

  2. Dr. Chou coordinated a task force to make recommendations for a cognitive assessment that could be consistently administered in clinical trials of PD. The Task Force conducted a systematic literature search for cognitive assessments previously used in a PD population. Scales were evaluated for their applicability in clinical trials, including administration time, assessment of the major cognitive domains, potential to detect subtle cognitive impairment, psychometric properties, and sensitivity to progression and to treatment effects.

    Chou KL, Amick MM, Brandt J, Camicioli R, Frei K, Gitelman D, Goldman J, Growdon J, Hurtig HI, Levin B, Litvan I, Marsh L, Simuni T, Troster AI, Uc EY. A Recommended Scale for Cognitive Screening in Clinical Trials of Parkinson’s Disease. Mov Disord 2010;DOI: 10.1002/mds.23362.

  3. The Cognitive/Psychiatric Working Group sponsored the “Second Clifford W. Shults Symposium: Cognitive & Psychiatric Aspects of Parkinson’s Disease” on May 28, 2009 during the 21st Annual Meeting of the Parkinson Study Group. The organizing committee consisted of Drs. Uc (chair), Growdon, Chou, Marder and Ms. Marsha Tennis.

  4. Dr. Karen Marder (Columbia University), along with Lorraine Clark, PhD, conducted a study on genotyping blood samples collected during the DATATOP study to determine the association between several PD related mutations with dementia incidence in PD. An abstract was presented at the AAN 2010.

    Marder KS, Clark LN, McDermott M, Uc E, and PSG DATATOP Investigators. Genetic Risk Factors for Cognitive Impairment in the DATATOP Cohort. Neurology 2010;74(Suppl 2);A254.

Want to get involved or have an idea for a project related to cognitive or psychiatric (behavior) concerns in PD? Please contact Dr. Pontone via email.

Click here to download the Mandate Statement.
Click here to download the Pre-Proposal Request Form.