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Article

Rekindling Action Language: A Neuromodulatory Study on Parkinson’s Disease Patients

1
Facultad de Psicología, Universidad del Valle, Santiago de Cali 76001, Colombia
2
Cognitive Neuroscience Center (CNC), Universidad de San Andrés, Buenos Aires B1644BID, Argentina
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National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Buenos Aires C1033AAJ, Argentina
4
Centro Médico de Atención Neurológica “Neurólogos de Occidente”, Santiago de Cali 76001, Colombia
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Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT), Buenos Aires C1425FQD, Argentina
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Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI), University of California San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
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Trinity College Dublin (TCD), D02R590 Dublin 2, Ireland
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Latin American Brain Health Institute (BrainLat), Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Santiago 8320000, Chile
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Faculty of Education, National University of Cuyo (UNCuyo), Mendoza M5502GKA, Argentina
10
Departamento de Lingüística y Literatura, Facultad de Humanidades, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago 9170020, Chile
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
First authors.
Academic Editor: Pichet Termsarasab
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(7), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11070887
Received: 12 June 2021 / Accepted: 25 June 2021 / Published: 1 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuromodulation of Language, Cognition and Emotion)
Impairments of action semantics (a cognitive domain that critically engages motor brain networks) are pervasive in early Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, no study has examined whether action semantic skills in persons with this disease can be influenced by non-invasive neuromodulation. Here, we recruited 22 PD patients and performed a five-day randomized, blinded, sham-controlled study to assess whether anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (atDCS) over the primary motor cortex, combined with cognitive training, can boost action–concept processing. On day 1, participants completed a picture–word association (PWA) task involving action-verb and object-noun conditions. They were then randomly assigned to either an atDCS (n = 11, 2 mA for 20 m) or a sham tDCS (n = 11, 2 mA for 30 s) group and performed an online PWA practice over three days. On day 5, they repeated the initial protocol. Relative to sham tDCS, the atDCS group exhibited faster reaction times for action (as opposed to object) concepts in the post-stimulation test. This result was exclusive to the atDCS group and held irrespective of the subjects’ cognitive, executive, and motor skills, further attesting to its specificity. Our findings suggest that action-concept deficits in PD are distinctively grounded in motor networks and might be countered by direct neuromodulation of such circuits. Moreover, they provide new evidence for neurosemantic models and inform a thriving agenda in the embodied cognition framework. View Full-Text
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; action-verb processing; motor circuits; transcranial direct current stimulation; embodied cognition Parkinson’s disease; action-verb processing; motor circuits; transcranial direct current stimulation; embodied cognition
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MDPI and ACS Style

Suárez-García, D.M.A.; Birba, A.; Zimerman, M.; Diazgranados, J.A.; Lopes da Cunha, P.; Ibáñez, A.; Grisales-Cárdenas, J.S.; Cardona, J.F.; García, A.M. Rekindling Action Language: A Neuromodulatory Study on Parkinson’s Disease Patients. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 887. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11070887

AMA Style

Suárez-García DMA, Birba A, Zimerman M, Diazgranados JA, Lopes da Cunha P, Ibáñez A, Grisales-Cárdenas JS, Cardona JF, García AM. Rekindling Action Language: A Neuromodulatory Study on Parkinson’s Disease Patients. Brain Sciences. 2021; 11(7):887. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11070887

Chicago/Turabian Style

Suárez-García, Diana M. A., Agustina Birba, Máximo Zimerman, Jesús A. Diazgranados, Pamela Lopes da Cunha, Agustín Ibáñez, Johan S. Grisales-Cárdenas, Juan Felipe Cardona, and Adolfo M. García. 2021. "Rekindling Action Language: A Neuromodulatory Study on Parkinson’s Disease Patients" Brain Sciences 11, no. 7: 887. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11070887

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