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Novel Network-Based Approaches for Studying Cognitive Dysfunction in Behavioral Neurology

Deliverables

Progress report 1

The progress report will summarize the work done in the first year of the project, including information on internal reports including report on subject recruitment and report on clinical and MRI data acquisition and analysis. The progress report will also include report on planned dissemination activities and public engamement conducted by the delivery date, specifically: one MSCA Open Days, project website release, information on the kick-off meeting, information on a popular publication released (M12), fMRI workshop organised at the MU and Course on Cognitive impairment and dementia.

Standardized protocol for language and acoustic assessment and analysis

Standardized protocol for language and acoustic assessment and analysis: We will design a short but as comprehensive as possible speech task that could be used in all 3 languages (English, Czech, Hungarian) and assess both dysarthria and apraxia of speech. Specific acoustic analysis of speech data will be performed in all 3 languages. The battery should not exceed 15 min of data acquisition. We will test this in older healthy subjects.

MRI data acquisition for tasks 3, 4

MRI data acquisition for tasks 3, 4: we will acquire data in healthy controls and patients with PD as described in the protocol and WP4.

Standardized protocol for cognitive assessment and composite domain z-score calculation

Standardized protocol for cognitive assessment and composite domain z-score calculation: We will design a cognitive assessment battery that could be used in all 3 languages (English, Czech, Hungarian). Only tests validated in all 3 countries will be used to enable to calculate composite domain z-scores in the following domains: attention, executive function, memory, visuo-spatial functions, language. The battery should not exceed 60 min of testing. We will test feasibility of this battery in older healthy subjects

Pilot data for kinematic assessment and analysis released

Pilot data for kinematic assessment and analysis released: We will develop a test a protocol for handwriting which would enables us to efficiently assess all aspects of micrographia/ dysgraphia in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). We will use a digitizing tablet and assess both on-surface and in-air movements. We will use both healthy controls (n=10) and PD patients (n=10) for this pilot study. Best handwriting parameters will be identified and described

Pilot fMRI data for language and acoustic assessment

Pilot fMRI data for language and acoustic assessment: We will design and test an fMRI protocol (an event-related fMRI task-induced activation design) to test reading of emotionally neutral short sentences in the scanner. The speech data will be acquired and assessed for noise artefacts while performing the acoustic analysis of the speech data. Pilot fMRI study will be performed in healthy controls and we will test and analyse fMRI data from 20 aged healthy subjects.

Kinematic abnormalities produced by damage to the cortical vs. subcortical components of the handwriting motor control network

Kinematic abnormalities produced by damage to the cortical vs. subcortical components of the handwriting motor control network: Neural substrates of dysgraphia in patients with different neurological diseases across three different languages: Patient groups and age-matched healthy controls will be compared with respect to their brain structure changes. In this part of the study we will evaluate lesion correlates of dysgraphia as described in the protocol and WP3. Patients with primary progressive aphasia/Alzheimer’s disease, stroke patients and patients with Parkinson’s disease will be included. In PD patients and healthy controls, we will additionally perform an fMRI study to assess functional correlates of impaired handwriting in PD and to identify the best cortical targets for an rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) study, see also below.

Specific behavioural and task-induced fMRI protocols for language and acoustic assessment

Specific behavioural and task-induced fMRI protocols for language and acoustic assessment: Pilot fMRI protocols will be used to assess and compare neural correlates of speech prosody impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease and in age/matched healthy controls.

Neural substrates of speech prosody impairment in patients with different neurological diseases across three different languages

Neural substrates of speech prosody impairment in patients with different neurological diseases across three different languages: Patient groups and age-matched healthy controls will be compared with respect to their brain structure changes. In this part of the study we will evaluate lesion correlates of dysarthria and apraxia of speech as described in the protocol and WP2. Patients with primary progressive aphasia/Alzheimer’s disease, stroke patients and patients with Parkinson’s disease will be included.

Pilot MRI data

We will design and test two fMRI protocols (event-related fMRI task-induced activation designs) to test attentional modulation of working memory using a visual task as described in the protocol and WP4. Pilot fMRI study will be performed in healthy controls and we will test and analyse fMRI data from 10 young healthy subjects for each of the fMRI task.

Project website

A project website will be released presenting the project and its results to general and expert public. It will present the institutions involved and the ey researchers. It will also be a place where there will be presented results of the research and its progress, as well as training and other academic activities of the partners.

Novel parametrization software for acoustic analysis

Novel parametrization software for acoustic analysis: Since hundreds of parameters may be analysed by using acoustic analysis of speech data and it is very time-consuming we will develop a novel parametrization software to speed the whole process and we will identify and choose only those speech parameters that reflect both dysarthria and apraxia of speech in the most efficient way

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Publications

Neural evidence for defective top-down control of visual processing in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease

Author(s): Nela Nemcova Elfmarkova, Martin Gajdos, Irena Rektorova, Radek Marecek, Steven Z. Rapcsak
Published in: Neuropsychologia, Issue 106, 2017, Page(s) 236-244, ISSN 0028-3932
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.09.034

Identification and Monitoring of Parkinson’s Disease Dysgraphia Based on Fractional-Order Derivatives of Online Handwriting

Author(s): Jan Mucha, Jiri Mekyska, Zoltan Galaz, Marcos Faundez-Zanuy, Karmele Lopez-de-Ipina, Vojtech Zvoncak, Tomas Kiska, Zdenek Smekal, Lubos Brabenec, Irena Rektorova
Published in: Applied Sciences, Issue 8/12, 2018, Page(s) 2566, ISSN 2076-3417
DOI: 10.3390/app8122566

Non-invasive stimulation of the auditory feedback area for improved articulation in Parkinson's disease

Author(s): Lubos Brabenec, Patricia Klobusiakova, Marek Barton, Jiri Mekyska, Zoltan Galaz, Vojtech Zvoncak, Tomas Kiska, Jan Mucha, Zdenek Smekal, Milena Kostalova, Irena Rektorova
Published in: Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 2018, ISSN 1353-8020
DOI: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2018.10.011