Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jnnpsycJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and PsychiatryVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1990 October; 53(10): 915–917.
PMCID: PMC488258

Neuropsychological profile linked to low dopamine: in Alzheimer's disease, major depression, and Parkinson's disease.


A distinct pattern of neuropsychological deficits was associated with low homovanillic acid (HVA) in the cerebrospinal fluid of 21 patients with: Alzheimer's disease (9), Parkinson's disease (8) and major depressive disorders (4). Regardless of clinical diagnosis, patients with low HVA were slower on a test of efficiency of processing timed information, and showed greater benefit from semantic structure on a verbal fluency task than patients with high HVA. However, low HVA subjects were not significantly impaired on confrontation naming (Boston Naming Test). Across three diagnostic groups, patients with lower HVA also tended to have more extrapyramidal motor signs and were significantly more depressed. These results demonstrate a significant relationship between specific neuro-behavioural deficits and dopaminergic activity which cuts across traditional diagnostic categories.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (593K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • McKhann G, Drachman D, Folstein M, Katzman R, Price D, Stadlan EM. Clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease: report of the NINCDS-ADRDA Work Group under the auspices of Department of Health and Human Services Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease. Neurology. 1984 Jul;34(7):939–944. [PubMed]
  • Matson WR, Gamache PG, Beal MF, Bird ED. EC array sensor concepts and data. Life Sci. 1987 Aug 17;41(7):905–908. [PubMed]
  • Mayeux R, Stern Y, Sano M, Cote L, Williams JB. Clinical and biochemical correlates of bradyphrenia in Parkinson's disease. Neurology. 1987 Jul;37(7):1130–1134. [PubMed]
  • Rogers D, Lees AJ, Smith E, Trimble M, Stern GM. Bradyphrenia in Parkinson's disease and psychomotor retardation in depressive illness. An experimental study. Brain. 1987 Jun;110(Pt 3):761–776. [PubMed]
  • Wilson RS, Kaszniak AW, Klawans HL, Garron DC. High speed memory scanning in parkinsonism. Cortex. 1980 Mar;16(1):67–72. [PubMed]
  • Dubois B, Pillon B, Legault F, Agid Y, Lhermitte F. Slowing of cognitive processing in progressive supranuclear palsy. A comparison with Parkinson's disease. Arch Neurol. 1988 Nov;45(11):1194–1199. [PubMed]
  • Litvan I, Grafman J, Vendrell P, Martinez JM. Slowed information processing in multiple sclerosis. Arch Neurol. 1988 Mar;45(3):281–285. [PubMed]
  • Lees AJ, Smith E. Cognitive deficits in the early stages of Parkinson's disease. Brain. 1983 Jun;106(Pt 2):257–270. [PubMed]
  • el-Awar M, Becker JT, Hammond KM, Nebes RD, Boller F. Learning deficit in Parkinson's disease. Comparison with Alzheimer's disease and normal aging. Arch Neurol. 1987 Feb;44(2):180–184. [PubMed]
  • Taylor AE, Saint-Cyr JA, Lang AE. Frontal lobe dysfunction in Parkinson's disease. The cortical focus of neostriatal outflow. Brain. 1986 Oct;109(Pt 5):845–883. [PubMed]
  • Delis D, Direnfeld L, Alexander MP, Kaplan E. Cognitive fluctuations associated with on-off phenomenon in Parkinson disease. Neurology. 1982 Sep;32(9):1049–1052. [PubMed]
  • Pillon B, Dubois B, Cusimano G, Bonnet AM, Lhermitte F, Agid Y. Does cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease result from non-dopaminergic lesions? J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1989 Feb;52(2):201–206. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group