Parkinson's is the second most widespread neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer, with a significant unmet clinical need for treatment of cognitive impairment. On the whole, Parkinson's affects 1% of people over 65 wherein 1.2 million people are diagnosed with the condition in Europe. This number is expected to double by 2040 mainly due to the continuously growing number of elderly people.
Among the most significant and ubiquitous features of Parkinson's is cognitive impairment. It leads to a reduced quality of life, excess disability, caregiver stress and various health-related costs. In fact dementia occurs in more than 80% of Parkinson's cases. In addition to dementia, mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI) is common, impacting approximately 20% of the non-demented people living with Parkinson's. Here the word “mild” is rather deceptive. Memory and thinking problems are called cognitive symptoms, and can include difficulties in concentrating, planning, making decisions or remembering words. The condition has a major effect on people living with Parkinson's, care-givers and society as a whole. Importantly, people living with PD-MCI will experience a shorter period to development of dementia (PDD). Therefore, PD-MCI could be considered as the prodromal stage of PDD. Currently, there is no treatment available for this condition.