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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.01259

Association Between Social Cognition Changes and Resting State Functional Connectivity in Frontotemporal Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Healthy Controls

Namita Multani1,  Foad Taghdiri1,  Cassandra Anor1, Brenda Varriano1, Karen Misquitta1,  David F. Tang-Wai2, Ron Keren3, Susan Fox3, Anthony Lang3, Anne Catherine Vijverman3, Connie Marras3 and  Maria Carmela Tartaglia3*
  • 1University of Toronto, Canada
  • 2University Health Network, Canada
  • 3University Health Network (UHN), Canada

Objective: To determine the relationship between alterations in resting state functional connectivity and social cognition dysfunction amongst patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and healthy controls (HC).
Methods: Fifty-seven participants (FTD=10, AD=18, PD=19, and HC=10) underwent structural and functional imaging and completed the Awareness of Social Inference Test-Emotion Evaluation Test (TASIT-EET), Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Activation System (BIS/BAS) scale, Revised Self-Monitoring Scale (RSMS), Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), and Social Norms Questionnaire (SNQ). A multi-variate pattern analysis (MVPA) was carried out to determine activation differences between the groups. The clusters from the MVPA were used as seeds for the ROI-to-voxel analysis. Relationship between social cognition deficits and uncinate integrity was also investigated.
Results: BOLD signal activation differed amongst the four groups of AD, PD, FTD and HC in the left inferior temporal gyrus-anterior division (L-ITG (ant)), right central opercular cortex (R-COp), right supramarginal gyrus, posterior division (R-SMG, post), right angular gyrus (R-AG), and R-ITG. The BOLD co-activation of the L-ITG (ant) with bilateral frontal pole (FP) and paracingulate gyrus was positively associated with IRI-perspective taking (PT) (r = .38, p = .007), SNQ total (r = .37, p = .009) and TASIT-EET (r = .47, p < .001).
Conclusion: Patients with neurodegenerative diseases showed alterations in connectivity in brain regions important for social cognition compared with healthy controls. Functional connectivity correlated with performance on social cognition tasks and alterations could be responsible for some of the social cognition deficits observed in all neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: Neurodegenaration, social cognition, Resting state – fMRI, Neuroimage analysis, Functional Connectivity

Received: 11 Jun 2019; Accepted: 06 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Multani, Taghdiri, Anor, Varriano, Misquitta, Tang-Wai, Keren, Fox, Lang, Vijverman, Marras and Tartaglia. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Maria Carmela Tartaglia, University Health Network (UHN), Toronto, M5G 2C4, Ontario, Canada,