PhD Scientific Days 2023

Budapest, 22-23 June 2023

Neurosciences II.

Alteration of Visuospatial System in MCI – Which Brain Regions are Affected?

Dalida Borbala Berente1,2, Anita Kamondi2,3, Andras Attila Horvath2,4
1Schools of PhD Studies, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
2Neurocognitive Research Center, National Institute of Mental Health, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Budapest, Hungary
3Semmelweis University Department of Neurology, Budapest, Hungary
4Semmelweis University, Department of Anatomy Histology and Embryology, Budapest, Hungary

Text of the abstract

Introduction: Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is the prodromal phase of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common cause of major neurocognitive disorders (NCDs) in the elderly. Optimal screening methods for substantial patient populations with MCI need to be developed. In our previous study, we found significant associations between our patients’ neuropsychological test results, and their hand movement characteristics measured by computer mouse via the Trail-making test based Precognize paradigm.
Aims: In this study we aimed to determine the relevant brain regions behind these associations.
Methods: 49 individuals participated in this study, 29 healthy controls and 20 patients with clinically defined MCI. They underwent comprehensive neurological and neuropsychological evaluation, MRI acquisition and completed the Precognize paradigm. Structural MRI images were analyzed using Freesurfer 6.0 software. Meticulous statistical analysis was completed for all data.
Results: Every mouse movement characteristic was significantly correlated with the volume or thickness of at least one cortical brain region. Regarding left hand data, entropy was significantly correlated to the highest number of cortical brain areas (n=12). The volume of the right lingual gyrus was most strongly correlated to entropy (p=0,001; r=-0.45) Regarding right hand data, the speed of computer mouse movements had the highest number of significant correlations to cortical brain areas. The thickness of the right fusiform gyrus was most strongly correlated to speed of computer mouse movements (p<0.001; r=0.54).
Conclusion: The two gyruses that showed the highest correlation to computer mouse movement data derived from the Precognize paradigm have been described to be involved in the completion of the Trail-making test. These findings support our hypothesis that the Precognize paradigm is a valid representation of the Trail-making test. Together with its association with the neuropsychological test results, Precognize has the potential to serve as an automatic, digital screening method for MCI.
Funding: Supported by the ÚNKP-22-3-II New National Excellence Program of the Ministry for Culture and Innovation from the source of the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund; Development of scientific workshops in medical, health sciences and pharmacy training (EFOP-3.6.3-VEKOP-16-2017-00009).