Evaluation of the Proportion of Verbs with Motor Content in the Action Fluency Task in Patients with Parkinson's Disease
Introduction: Evidences have indicated to a possibility of the action fluency (AF) (number of verbs generated during 1 minute) to be correlated with the frontostriatal network and with the lexicosemantic network of verbs. Studying the semantic content of words produced might be helpful to comprehend if Parkinson's Disease (PD) affects selective lexicosemantic networks.
Objectives: To compare the performance in the AF task and its proportion of verbs with motor content between PD patients and normal controls.
Methods: The study was carried out in the Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre and was supported by Fundo de Incentivo à Pesquisa e Eventos (FIPE). Ten patients with diagnoses of PD and 10 normal controls (with normal cognitive screening and no relevant medical history) agreed to participating of this study. The groups were matched by age and education. All participants performed the AF task. The proportion of verbs with motor content was calculated by dividing the number of verbs with motor content by the total number of correct verbs produced. The t-test was used for statistical analysis (significance level of 5%).
Results: PD patients (AF = 6.8 + 3.08) performed worse in the AF task than the normal controls (AF = 10.1 + 3) (p = 0.026). However, no significant difference was found for proportion of verbs with motor content (p = 0.572).
Conclusion: PD patients performed worse in the AF but without difference in the proportion of verbs with motor content. The access to the semantic motor content of verbs during the AF task does not seem to be affected in PD.