Disruptions of frontostriatal language functions in Parkinson’s disease

Adolfo M. García, Yamile Bocanegra, Agustina Birba, Juan Rafael Orozco-Arroyave, Lucas Sedeño, Agustín Ibáñez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Atrophy of frontostriatal pathways in Parkinson’s disease compromises diverse linguistic functions. To establish which of these disorders constitute candidate cognitive biomarkers of the disease, we review studies assessing phonetic/phonological, morphological, lexicosemantic, syntactic, and discourse-level dimensions in early stage patients. While morphological difficulties are inconsistent and discourse-level alterations seem nosologically unspecific, systematic disturbances emerge in particular phonetic (plosive articulation), lexicosemantic (action-verb processing), and syntactic (complex-sentence parsing) functions. Some such deficits are selective (not generalized across their overarching domain), partially specific (absent in nonmotor disorders), primary (not secondary to overall cognitive dysfunction), associated with critical neurobiological abnormalities, and traceable in prodromal stages. Notably, new approaches for analyzing those dimensions allow identifying individual patients with over 90% accuracy. Although several challenges remain unaddressed and more programmatic research is needed, the incorporation of these tools in clinical settings could enhance screening protocols, differential diagnosis, disease-progression monitoring, and discrimination of patient profiles within the parkinsonian population.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenetics, Neurology, Behavior, and Diet in Parkinson’s Disease
Subtitle of host publicationThe Neuroscience of Parkinson’s Disease, Volume 2
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780128159507
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive biomarkers
  • Discourse-level processing
  • Frontostriatal pathways
  • Lexicosemantics
  • Morphology
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Phonetics/phonology
  • Syntax


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