BackgroundThere is evidence that cognitive load has a negative effect on the gait of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, it is not clear which type of cognitive activities are more likely to affect dual-task abilities in this patient group.AimsTo compare the cognitive dual-task abilities in patients with PD and control subjects and to analyze the effect of different cognitive activities on the walking ability of patients with PD.MethodsThe Hoehn and Yahr scale, the Freezing of Gait Questionnaire (FOGQ), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and the Functional Reach Test were used to include and exclude the patients. The Timed Up and Go (TUG) test was applied under single and dual-task conditions.ResultsThe completion time of TUG was found to be increased in the PD group compared with the healthy controls under single- and dual-task conditions (p<0.05). The completion time of TUG was significantly increased in dual-task conditions with complex attention activity (serial subtractions test) compared with other dual-task conditions in patients with PD (p<0.001).DiscussionThe gait performance of both healthy subjects and patients with PD was impaired with cognitive activity during walking, and patients with PD showed more impairment under different cognitive dual tasks. Among the other cognitive tasks, the serial sevens' test, a measure of complex attention, significantly increased the completion time of TUG.ConclusionsWhile assessing the dual-task ability of patients with early-stage PD, tasks that increase the demand for complex attention seem to be more sensitive to showing impaired dual-task ability.