Acta neurologica Belgica, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
Introduction The key feature that distinguishes mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from dementia is the absence of significant functional decline because of cognitive impairment. In Parkinson's disease patients (PD) with MCI (PD-MCI), the effect of cognitive impairment on complex instrumental daily activities, such as medication management, is not well established. Method 26 patients with PD-MCI (diagnosed to Level 2 Movement Disorders Society diagnostic criteria) and 32 idiopathic PD patients without cognitive impairment participated in the study. A detailed neuropsychological testing battery (including tests for attention and working memory, executive functions, language, visuospatial functions, episodic memory) and various prospective memory tasks were applied to the patients. Medication taking behaviors were evaluated using two different methods based on the performance (medication management ability assessment) and self-reporting (adherence scale). Results The PD-MCI group obtained significantly lower scores in medication management assessment and made more mistakes on following prescription instructions (e.g., they took more or less tablets and did not use medications as instructed with regard to meal times). Cognitive areas predicting success in medication management performance were language, event-based prospective memory and visuospatial functions. There was no significant difference between the two groups' self-reporting of adherence. Conclusion Mild cognitive impairment in patients with PD adversely affects medication management. Diagnosing MCI in PD is important to ensure that the appropriate measures can be taken to provide support and improve the medication management process. Adherence assessments based on self-reporting may not provide reliable and sensitive information in patients with PD-MCI.