Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by dopaminergic cell loss and reduced striatal volume. Prior studies have demonstrated striatal involvement in access to lexical-semantic knowledge and damage to this structure may be evident in the lexical properties of responses. Semantic fluency task responses from early stage, non-demented PD participants with right (PD-R) or left (PD-L) lateralizing symptoms were compared to matched controls on lexical properties (word frequency, age of acquisition) and correlated with striatal volumes segmented from T1-weighted brain MR images. PD-R participants produced semantic fluency responses of a lower age of acquisition than PD-L and control participants (p < 0.05). PD-R age of acquisition responses correlated positively with putamen volume (p < 0.05), while age of acquisition of responses correlated negatively with caudate volume in controls (p < 0.05). Findings provide evidence for a role of the striatum in lexical-semantic access and qualitative changes in lexical access in select PD patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Speech and Hearing