: Impairment of social cognition (SC) skills such as recognition and attribution of intentions and affective states of others (Theory of Mind, ToM) has been evidenced in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). This study investigated the neuropsychological, neuroanatomical and brain-functional underpinnings of SC processing to obtain an understanding of the social neurophenotype in early probable AD. Forty-six patients with mild cognitive impairment and mild probable AD underwent SC assessment including emotion recognition (Ekman-60-faces task) and cognitive and affective ToM (Reading-the-Mind-in-the-Eyes test and Story-based Empathy task). Linear models tested the association between SC scores and neuropsychological measures, grey matter maps and large-scale functional networks activity. The executive domain had the most predominant association with SC scores in the cognitive profile. Grey matter volume of the anterior cingulate, orbitofrontal, temporoparietal junction (TPJ), superior temporal, and cerebellar cortices were associated with ToM. Social cognition scores were associated with lower connectivity of the default-mode network with the prefrontal cortex. The right fronto-parietal network displayed higher inter-network connectivity in the right TPJ and insula while the salience network showed lower inter-network connectivity with the left TPJ and insula. Connectivity coupling alterations of executive-attentional networks may support default mode social-cognitive-associated decline through the recruitment of frontal executive mechanisms.

Large-Scale Functional Networks, Cognition and Brain Structures Supporting Social Cognition and Theory of Mind Performance in Prodromal to Mild Alzheimer's Disease

Cerami, Chiara;
2021

Abstract

: Impairment of social cognition (SC) skills such as recognition and attribution of intentions and affective states of others (Theory of Mind, ToM) has been evidenced in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). This study investigated the neuropsychological, neuroanatomical and brain-functional underpinnings of SC processing to obtain an understanding of the social neurophenotype in early probable AD. Forty-six patients with mild cognitive impairment and mild probable AD underwent SC assessment including emotion recognition (Ekman-60-faces task) and cognitive and affective ToM (Reading-the-Mind-in-the-Eyes test and Story-based Empathy task). Linear models tested the association between SC scores and neuropsychological measures, grey matter maps and large-scale functional networks activity. The executive domain had the most predominant association with SC scores in the cognitive profile. Grey matter volume of the anterior cingulate, orbitofrontal, temporoparietal junction (TPJ), superior temporal, and cerebellar cortices were associated with ToM. Social cognition scores were associated with lower connectivity of the default-mode network with the prefrontal cortex. The right fronto-parietal network displayed higher inter-network connectivity in the right TPJ and insula while the salience network showed lower inter-network connectivity with the left TPJ and insula. Connectivity coupling alterations of executive-attentional networks may support default mode social-cognitive-associated decline through the recruitment of frontal executive mechanisms.
Alzheimer’s disease
VBM
fMRI
mild cognitive impairment
social cognition
theory of mind
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12076/11064
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