Right fronto-parietal white matter disruption contributes to speech impairments in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Antonio Merico, Matteo De Marco, Giulia Berta, Riccardo Manca, Giovanni Giulietti, Marco Bozzali, Annalena Venneri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Non-linguistic properties of speech are widely heterogeneous and require complex neurological integration. The association between white matter integrity and the severity of dysarthria was investigated in a group of patients diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Methods: Thirty-six patients diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis completed a magnetic resonance imaging protocol inclusive of diffusion-weighted images. A clinical assessment of pneumo-phono-articulatory abilities was conducted for each patient, and a composite score of residual speech capacity was calculated. Tract-Based Spatial Statistics was carried out to model the potential association between residual speech capacity and microstructural properties of white matter (fractional anisotropy, mean and radial diffusivity). Results: A significant negative association was found between residual speech capacity and mean diffusivity in a large white matter cluster located in frontal, parietal and right temporal regions. These subcortical areas were characterised by pathological microstructural disruption, as revealed by post hoc analyses. Conclusions: Non-linguistic aspects of speech are associated with microstructural integrity of frontal, parietal and right temporal white matter in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Such mapping is consistent with the centres responsible of volitional control of speech and sensory feedback during non-linguistic speech production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Volume158
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • DTI
  • Dysarthria
  • Fractional anisotropy
  • Mean diffusivity
  • Motor neurone disease
  • Radial diffusivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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