Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) have deficits in perceptual timing, or the perception and estimation of time. PD patients can also have cognitive symptoms, including deficits in executive functions such as working memory, planning, and visuospatial attention. Here, we discuss how PD-related cognitive symptoms contribute to timing deficits. Timing is influenced by signaling of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the striatum. Timing also involves the frontal cortex, which is dysfunctional in PD. Frontal cortex impairments in PD may influence memory subsystems as well as decision processes during timing tasks. These data suggest that timing may be a type of executive function. As such, timing can be used to study the neural circuitry of cognitive symptoms of PD as they can be studied in animal models. Performance of timing tasks also maybe a useful clinical biomarker of frontal as well as striatal dysfunction in PD. © 2013 Parker, Lamichhane, Caetano and Narayanan.
Parker, K. L., Lamichhane, D., Caetano, M. S., & Narayanan, N. S. (2013). Executive dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease and timing deficits. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnint.2013.00075