Parkinson's disease patients suffering from cognitive impairment are affected by atrophy in the hippocampus, new research from the University of Pennsylvania has revealed.
A study from the institution's Perelman School of Medicine (PSM), published in the journal Archives of Neurology, used traditional imaging analyses to discover a connection between atrophy and cognitive impairment.
Scans of Parkinson's disease patients were then analysed with normal cognition or dementia.
Daniel Weintraub, associate professor of geriatric psychiatry at the PSM and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, explained: "We can see a pattern of diffuse gray matter and white matter atrophy in the brains of Parkinson's patients with cognitive decline."
The news comes in the same week that Parkinson's UK announced it is funding research that could lead to the development of smartphone applications to tackle speech problems suffered by many people with the disease.
Dr Roger Eglin of the University of Portsmouth has been given a grant of £35,000 to help finance the 12-month project.