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February 1987

Cortical vs Subcortical Dementia: Neuropsychological Similarities

Author Affiliations

Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences Massachusetts Institute of Technology 77 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02139

Arch Neurol. 1987;44(2):131. doi:10.1001/archneur.1987.00520140007008

To the Editor.  —Several investigators1,2 have speculated that Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) result in distinct dementias, commonly labeled cortical and subcortical in view of the respective brain regions believed to be primarily affected. Consistent with this hypothesis, Huber et al3 recently claimed that the two diseases differ neuropsychologically. The authors failed, however, to distinguish between the obvious differences in the severity of dementia (greater in patients with AD than in those with PD) and the remarkable similarity of the groups' test profiles; the data actually are consistent with the view that dementia in both diseases results from pathologic conditions of the same brain structures.The error in the article by Huber et al may be seen by contrasting their work with a parallel, hypothetical study. Huber et al compared healthy control, PD, and AD groups; the hypothetical study would compare healthy control, mild AD, and

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