Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is common in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and should be recognized early because it represents a predictor of PD-related dementia and worse disease course. Diagnostic criteria for PD-related MCI (PD-MCI) have recently been defined by a Movement Disorders Society (MDS) task force. The present study explored which neuropsychological tests perform best for a level II (i.e., comprehensive neuropsychological assessment) diagnosis of PD-MCI according to the MDS task force criteria in Italian-speaking PD patients. To this aim, we assessed a comprehensive 23-item neuropsychological battery, derived the best-performing 10-test battery (i.e., two tests per domain for each of the five cognitive domains), and explored its accuracy for diagnosing PD-MCI in comparison to the full battery in a group of PD patients. A secondary aim was to explore the role of this battery for subtyping PD-MCI according to single-domain vs. multiple-domain involvement. The 10-test battery showed 73% sensitivity and 100% specificity for diagnosing PD-MCI, and 69% sensitivity and 100% specificity for PD-MCI subtyping. In patients older than 70 years, we derived a slightly different 10-test battery with 84% sensitivity and 100% specificity for PD-MCI diagnosis, and 86% sensitivity and 100% specificity for PD-MCI subtyping. These 10-item neuropsychological batteries might represent a good trade-off between diagnostic accuracy and time of application, and their role in PD-MCI diagnosis and subtyping should be further explored in future prospective studies.
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