Establishing two principal dimensions of cognitive variation in logopenic progressive aphasia.
Hodges, John R
Oxford University Press
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Ramanan, S., Roquet, D., Goldberg, Z., Hodges, J. R., Piguet, O., Irish, M., & Lambon Ralph, M. (2020). Establishing two principal dimensions of cognitive variation in logopenic progressive aphasia.. Brain communications, 2 (2), fcaa125. https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcaa125
Logopenic Progressive Aphasia (LPA) is a neurodegenerative syndrome characterised by sentence repetition and naming difficulties arising from left-lateralised temporoparietal atrophy. Clinical descriptions of LPA largely concentrate on profiling language deficits, however, accumulating evidence points to the presence of cognitive deficits, even on tasks with minimal language demands. Although non-linguistic cognitive deficits in LPA are thought to scale with disease severity, patients at discrete stages of language dysfunction display overlapping cognitive profiles, suggesting individual-level variation in cognitive performance, independent of primary language dysfunction. To address this issue, we used principal component analysis to decompose individual-level variation in cognitive performance in 43 well-characterised LPA patients who underwent multi-domain neuropsychological assessments and structural neuroimaging. The principal component analysis solution revealed the presence of two, statistically independent factors, providing stable and clinically intuitive explanations for the majority of variance in cognitive performance in the syndrome. Factor 1 reflected ‘speech production and verbal memory’ deficits which typify LPA. Systematic variations were also confirmed on a second, orthogonal factor mainly comprising visuospatial and executive processes. Adopting a case-comparison approach, we further demonstrate that pairs of patients with comparable Factor 1 scores, regardless of their severity, diverge considerably on visuo-executive test performance, underscoring the inter-individual variability in cognitive profiles in comparably ‘logopenic’ patients. Whole-brain voxel-based morphometry analyses revealed that speech production and verbal memory factor scores correlated with left middle frontal gyrus, while visuospatial and executive factor scores were associated with grey matter intensity of right-lateralised temporoparietal, middle frontal regions and their underlying white matter connectivity. Importantly, LPA patients with poorer visuospatial and executive factor scores demonstrated greater right-lateralised temporoparietal and frontal atrophy. Our findings demonstrate the inherent variation in cognitive performance at an individual- and group-level in LPA, suggesting the presence of a genuine co-occurring cognitive impairment that is independent of language function and disease severity.
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) ERC (670428)
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcaa125
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/311571
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