Abstract

Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) become dependent upon caregivers because motor and cognitive disabilities interfere with their ability to carry out activities of daily living (ADLs). However, PD patients display diverse motor and cognitive symptoms, and it is not yet known which are most responsible for ADL dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to identify the contributions that specific cognitive and motor functions make to ADLs. Executive functioning, in particular sequencing, was a significant independent predictor of instrumental ADLs whereas simple motor functioning was not. By contrast, simple motor functioning, but not executive functioning, was a significant independent predictor of physical ADLs. Dementia severity, as measured by the Dementia Rating Scale, was significantly correlated with instrumental but not physical ADLs. The identification of selective relationships between motor and cognitive functioning and ADLs may ultimately provide a model for evaluating the benefits and limitations of different treatments for PD.