Uncinate fasciculus and word selection processing in Parkinson's disease

Sonia Di Tella, Daniela Traficante, Maria Caterina Silveri, Francesca Baglio, Laura Pelizzari, Monia Cabinio, Raffaello Nemni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

We explored with Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) technique whether the ability to select words among competitive alternatives during word production is related to the integrity of the left uncinate fasciculus (UF) in Parkinson's disease (PD). Nineteen PD patients (10 right-sided and 9 left-sided) and 17 matched healthy controls (HC) took part in the study. Participants were asked to derive nouns from verbs (reading from to read) or to generate verbs from nouns (to build from building). Noun and verb production, in this task, differ in the number of lexical entries among which the response is selected, as the noun must be selected from a larger number of alternatives compared to the verb, and thus is more demanding of processing resources. DTI evaluation was obtained for each subject. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) maps were derived from DTI and median FA and MD values were computed within the left and right UF. Then, FA and MD of the left and right UF were correlated with noun and verb production. Both the left and right UF-FA correlated with the global (noun + verb) production and noun production in the whole PD group. In right-sided PD, correlations were found with the contralateral UF-FA; in left-sided PD the correlations emerged with both the left and right UF-FA. The most difficult task, noun production, significantly correlated with the right UF-FA in left-sided PD. The left UF is involved in word selection processes, and the right UF intervenes when the selection is particularly demanding of attentional resources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume146
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • DTI
  • Diffusion parameters
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Uncinate fasciculus
  • Word production

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