Educational level as a modulator of cognitive performance and neuropsychyatric features in Parkinson disease

Oren S. Cohen*, Eli Vakil, David Tanne, Zeev Nitsan, Roseline Schwartz, Sharon Hassin-Baer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To test a possible association between the educational level (EL), cognitive performance, and neuropsychiatric features in Parkinson disease (PD). BACKGROUND: An inverse association has been reported between EL and cognitive dysfunction in patients with senile dementia of Alzheimer type but it is yet unsettled whether education has a similar effect on cognition in PD. METHODS: Seventy-two PD patients (45 males, mean age 68.7±11.6 y) underwent a detailed neurologic examination, a battery of neuropsychologic tests, and questionnaires for the evaluation of psychosis, sleep disturbances, and depression. According to the number of educational years, patients were divided into 3 groups: low EL (0 to 8 y), (15 patients), intermediate EL (9 to 12 y) (28 patients), and high EL (≥13 y) (29 patients). RESULTS: Patients with a higher EL had a better cognitive function and an association was found between the patients' EL and their scores in various neuropsychologic tests mainly those sensitive to frontal lobe dysfunction. Low education was associated with an increased risk for hallucinations and a trend for more depression, delusions, and sleep disturbances. CONCLUSIONS: The association between high educational attainment and the lower risk of cognitive dysfunction suggest that education might modulate cognitive performance in PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-72
Number of pages5
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Cognitive performance
  • Education
  • Neuropsychyatric features
  • Parkinson disease


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