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Verbal and Visuospatial Memory in Lateral Onset Parkinson Disease: Time is of the Essence

Foster, Paul S. PhD* †; Drago, Valeria MD† ‡; Crucian, Gregory P. PhD§ ∥; Skidmore, Frank MD† ¶; Rhodes, Robert D. MS; Shenal, Brian V. PhD**; Skoblar, Barry PsyD††; Heilman, Kenneth M. MD† ¶

Cognitive & Behavioral Neurology: March 2010 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - pp 19-25
doi: 10.1097/WNN.0b013e3181c20de7
Original Studies

Objective: This investigation sought to study immediate and delayed verbal and visuospatial recall in Parkinson disease (PD) patients with left hemibody (LHO) and right hemibody (RHO) onset of motor symptoms and to examine the role of mental processing speed in recall of this information.

Background: Research is mixed regarding material specific memory impairments in LHO and RHO PD. However, earlier research has not used a factorial approach in investigating material specific memory in LHO and RHO PD. We hypothesized that LHO PD patients would exhibit an increase in performance following the delayed verbal free recall trial and either decline or stability in performance on the delayed visuospatial free recall trial. The opposite pattern was hypothesized for RHO PD patients.

Method: The Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-revised (HVLT-R) and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-revised (BVMT-R) were administered to a sample of 28 LHO PD patients and 36 RHO PD patients. The Stroop Color-word Test was administered as a measure of mental processing speed.

Results: The results indicated that the RHO group experienced a significant decline in performance on verbal free recall from the immediate to the delayed trials and a significant improvement in performance from the immediate to the delayed visuospatial free recall trials. Additionally, a significant negative correlation was found between mental processing speed and changes in recall from the immediate to the delayed conditions for the RHO group.

Conclusions: These results indicate that the RHO PD group experienced a significant decline in verbal free recall and a significant improvement in visuospatial free recall from the immediate to the delayed trials and that the LHO PD patients experienced no significant changes. Further, mental processing speed appears to influence the recall of information from the immediate to the delayed conditions.

*Middle Tennessee State University

University of Florida

Oasi Institute for Research on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging, Troina, EN

§University of Canterbury

Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service, Burwood Hospital

Malcom Randall VAMC

Concord University

**Mental Health Service Line, Salem

††Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC, VA

Reprints: Paul S. Foster, PhD, Psychology Department, Middle Tennessee State University, 1500 Greenland Drive TN 37132, Murfreesboro (e-mail: paul.foster@neurology.ufl.edu).

Received for the publication March 17, 2009

accepted March 17, 2009

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.