Taking the Time to Assess Cognition in Parkinson's Disease: The Clock Drawing Test

Academic Article


  • Background: Cognitive impairment is common and disabling in Parkinson's disease (PD). Cognitive testing can be time consuming in the clinical setting. One rapid test to detect cognitive impairment in non-PD populations is the Clock Drawing Test (CDT), which calls upon the brain's executive and visuospatial abilities to draw a clock designating a certain time. Objective: Test the hypothesis that PD participants would perform worse on CDT compared to controls and that CDT would correlate with other measures of cognition. Methods: This study evaluated two independent CDT scoring systems and differences in CDT performance between PD (Nā€Š=ā€Š97) and control (Nā€Š=ā€Š54) participants using a two-sample t-test. Pearson's correlations were conducted between the CDT and tests of sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale) and vigilance (Psychomotor Vigilance Test); executive function (Trails B-A); and global cognition (Montreal Cognitive Assessment). Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to determine cut points on the CDT that identify individuals who need additional cognitive testing. Results: PD participants had worse performance on CDT compared to controls. The CDT was correlated with executive function (Trails B-A) and global cognition (Montreal Cognitive Assessment). The CDT correlated with vigilance (Psychomotor Vigilance Task) only in healthy controls. However, the CDT was not correlated with measures of sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale) in either group. A cut point of 9 on the Rouleau scale and 18 on the Mendez scale identified PD participants with cognitive impairment. Conclusion: The CDT is a rapid clinical cognitive assessment that is feasible in PD and correlates with other measures of cognition.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Srivastava H; Joop A; Memon RA; Pilkington J; Wood KH; Natelson Love M; Amara AW
  • Start Page

  • 713
  • End Page

  • 722
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 2