Circadian Rest-Activity Rhythms Predict Cognitive Function in Early Parkinson's Disease Independently of Sleep.

Published online

Journal Article

Background: Cognitive impairment is a common and debilitating symptom of Parkinson's disease (PD), and its etiology is likely multifactorial. One candidate mechanism is circadian disruption. Although there is evidence of circadian abnormalities in PD, no studies have directly assessed their association with cognitive impairment. Objectives: Investigate whether circadian rest-activity rhythm is associated with cognitive function in PD independently of sleep. Methods: Thirty-five participants with PD wore wrist actigraph monitors and completed sleep diaries for 7 to 10 days, then underwent neuropsychological testing. Rest-activity rhythm was characterized using nonparametric circadian rhythm analysis of actigraphy data. Objective sleep parameters were also estimated using actigraphy data. Hierarchical regression models assessed the independent contributions of sleep and rest-activity rhythm to cognitive performance. Results: Less stable day-to-day rest-activity rhythm was associated with poorer executive, visuospatial, and psychomotor functioning, but not with memory. Hierarchical regressions showed that interdaily stability's contribution to cognitive performance was independent of sleep's contributions. Whereas sleep contributed to executive function, but not psychomotor or visuospatial performance, rest-activity rhythm stability significantly contributed to variance in all three of these domains, uniquely accounting for 14.4% to 17.6% of their performance variance. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that circadian rest-activity rhythm is associated with cognitive impairment independently of sleep. This suggests the possible utility of rest-activity rhythm as a biomarker for circadian function in PD. Future research should explore interventions to stabilize behavioral rhythms in order to strengthen circadian function, which, in turn, may reduce cognitive impairment in PD.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wu, JQ; Li, P; Stavitsky Gilbert, K; Hu, K; Cronin-Golomb, A

Published Date

  • November 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 5 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 614 - 619

PubMed ID

  • 30637282

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30637282

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2330-1619

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/mdc3.12692


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States