Background: The effect of brain-vessel pathology on mortality in 57 consecutive PD patients was studied. Methods: Baseline clinical, neuropsychological, ultrasonographic (US), and MR data obtained from patients who died (n = 18) during a 4-year follow-up period were compared with the data of patients who survived. Results: US/MRI data displayed a more-severe vascular impairment in deceased patients. Differences were significant between both groups with respect to age, clinical and cognitive status, intima-media thickness, and resistance index (indicators of large and small vessel impairment). The sum score of white-matter hyperintensities was significantly higher among decedents. A cluster analysis displayed two clusters that differed in the two parameters (i.e. in age and in sum score). Conclusions: This study provides evidence that comorbid atherosclerosis and otherwise subclinical impairment of brain vessels may contribute to mortality in PD. The vascular pathology may act in association with other comorbidities on the terrain of progressive neurodegenerative pathology.
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Parkinson's disease