Degenerative and vascular cognitive discorders


This team, made up of clinical and pre-clinical researchers, is multidisciplinary. It is located at the interface between neurology, pharmacology and imaging. The research project is focused on the translational, transnosographic and multimodal study of cognitive disorders associated with degenerative processes or neurovascular lesions, starting from the observation that the mechanisms are entangled.

  • Cognitive and behavioral disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease


Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) have both motor and non-motor symptoms. Our projects focus on two of the most common non-motor manifestations of PD: cognitive impairment and anxiety. About 40% of patients with PD have mild cognitive impairment. However, the deficits are heterogeneous. The mechanisms behind this heterogeneity remain poorly understood, while certain subtypes seem to be at greater risk of rapidly developing dementia. Using MRI and EEG, our aim is to identify anatomical and functional markers of these different subtypes. In some cases, these cognitive disorders are closely related to anxiety, another common manifestation of PD. The underlying mechanisms remain unknown and we try to decipher them. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be effective in alleviating the PD-related anxiety. Using fMRI, our aim is to identify the brain networks through which this improvement takes place.

Kathy Dujardin, Luc Defebvre, Arnaud Delval, Quentin Devignes, Guillaume Carey, Renaud Lopes, Gregory Kuchcinski, Romain Viard, Nacim Betrouni


- Participation in the first international meeting devoted to PD-related anxiety organized by the Parkinson Foundation under the presidence of Gregory Pontone (Baltimore, USA). This meeting enabled the development of an international research network dedicated to this issue, ranked among the top 3 of unmet needs by patients.

- Strengthening of collaborations with the team of the "Maastricht University Medical Center" (A. Leentjens) leading to the international co-supervision of G. Carey’s PhD (EURON Network).

- International clinical trial demonstrating the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in reducing the severity of anxiety disorders in patients with Parkinson's disease (accepted publication).


Pontone GM, Dissanayaka N, Apostolova L, Brown RG, Dobkin R, Dujardin K, Friedman JH, Leentjens AFG, Lenze EJ, Marsh L, Mari L, Monchi O, Richard IH, Schrag A, Strafella AP, Vernaleo B, Weintraub D, Mari Z. Report from a multidisciplinary meeting on anxiety as a non-motor manifestation of Parkinson's disease. NPJ Parkinsons Dis. 2019 Dec 11;5(1):30. doi: 10.1038/s41531-019-0102-8.

Carey G, Görmezoğlu M, de Jong JJA, Hofman PAM, Backes WH, Dujardin K, Leentjens AFG. Neuroimaging of Anxiety in Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review. Mov Disord. 2020 Dec 2. doi: 10.1002/mds.28404.

Betrouni N, Lopes R, Defebvre L, Leentjens AFG, Dujardin K. Texture features of magnetic resonance images: A marker of slight cognitive deficits in Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 2020 Mar;35(3):486-494.