Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Toronto)
Cognitive complications in Parkinson's disease: the contribution of dopamine.
Current dopamine-targeted therapies for Parkinson’s disease (PD) predominantly focus on relieving the motor symptoms of the disease. However, non-motor complications in PD are also very common and are not effectively managed by current therapies, a problem which is almost certainly due to the fact that the disease extends well beyond the nigrostriatal system. Among these non-motor symptoms, cognitive deficits in particular have a significant impact on the quality of life and day-to-day activities of PD patients. Cognitive decline occurs frequently in PD with an impairment in one or more cognitive domain. The lack of information on the anatomical and biological bases of the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in PD has limited the development of optimal treatment strategies to alleviate these non-motor aspects of PD. In this proposal, we will use positron emission tomography (PET) to study how nigrostriatal and mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic neurodegeneration contributes to single vs multi-domain MCI and how the disrupted interaction between these two dopaminergic systems affects the severity of cognitive decline and PD prognosis.