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Visual hallucinations in Parkinson's disease: Theoretical models

Visual hallucinations in Parkinson's disease: Theoretical models
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Movement Disorders Volume 29 Issue 13
November 2014
Muller AJ, Shine JM, Halliday GM, Lewis SJG

One of the most challenging tasks in neuroscience is to be able to meaningfully connect information across the different levels of investigation, from molecular or structural biology to the resulting behavior and cognition. Visual hallucinations are a frequent occurrence in Parkinson's disease and significantly contribute to the burden of the disease. Because of the widespread pathological processes implicated in visual hallucinations in Parkinson's disease, a final common mechanism that explains their manifestation will require an integrative approach, in which consideration is taken across all complementary levels of analysis. 

This review considers the leading hypothetical frameworks for visual hallucinations in Parkinson's disease, summarizing the key aspects of each in an attempt to highlight the aspects of the condition that such a unifying hypothesis must explain. These competing hypotheses include implications of dream imagery intrusion, deficits in reality monitoring, and impairments in visual perception and attention.