Affiliations: Neurocentro della Svizzera Italiana, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, Lugano, TI, Switzerland | Unità operativa di neuropsicologia e logopedia, Clinica Hildebrand, Centro di Riabilitazione Brissago, TI, Switzerland | Laboratory of Psychology, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Piancavallo, VB, Italy | Division of Neurology and Neuro-Rehabilitation, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Piancavallo, VB, Italy | Department of Neurosciences, University of Turin, Italy | Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italy | Division of molecular and cognitive neuroscience, University of Basel, BS, Switzerland
Note:  Correspondence to: Riccardo Pignatti, Neurocentro della Svizzera Italiana, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, Via Tesserete 46, 6900 Lugano, TI, Switzerland. Tel.: +41 (0)918116385; Fax: +41 (0)918116464; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is frequently characterized by cognitive and affective dysfunctions. The “Parkinson Neuropsychometric Dementia Assessment” (PANDA) is a screening tool designed for the early detection of mild cognitive impairment as well as dementia in PD. The PANDA is already validated in German and in French. Objective: The aim of the present work was to provide normative data for the Italian-speaking population, Swiss regions included; moreover, the effectiveness of the PANDA compared to the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) was tested. Methods: One-hundred and eleven PD patients with and without cognitive impairment and one-hundred and three matched healthy subjects participated at this study; all patients underwent an extensive neuropsychological evaluation. Results: A PANDA total score of 13 appeared to be the most fitting cut-off with a sensitivity of 96.6% and a specificity of 82.2%; with the MMSE, the same value of sensitivity but with a specificity of 72,4% was reached only by adopting a cut-off of 28. Moreover, a PANDA range of 13–17 appeared to be suggestive for possible cognitive disturbance. Conclusions: The present work provides evidence for the effectiveness of the PANDA in evaluating cognitive deficits also in PD Italian-speaking patients, even when their pathological degree is still initial or very mild.
Keywords: Parkinson's disease, dementia, cognitive impairment, neuropsychological test