- This event has passed.
Prosem Lecture: Impact of Social Condition on Vocal Communication and Non-motor Features of Parkinson Disease in a Pink1-/- Rat Model
September 30, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Presenter: Courtney K. Broadfoot, M.S., CCS-SLP, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Topic: Impact of Social Condition on Vocal Communication and Non-motor Features of Parkinson Disease in a Pink1-/- Rat Model
Parkinson disease (PD) is a complex, neurodegnerative disorder characterized by vocal communication and gross motor deficits, as well as non-motor features including anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline, all of which diminish quality of life. Vocal function, cognitive skill, and regulation of anxiety/depression are essential for meaningful social interactions; thus, individuals with PD also often experience debilitating social isolation. How isolating living conditions impact these specific variables in PD, is not well known. Further, the underlying brain pathology that modulates these behaviors is not fully described. Thus, the purpose of this work is to study how social interaction relates to vocal function, cognition, and well-being using a validated rat model of early-onset PD (Pink1-/-). Our central hypotheses are that social isolation contributes to vocal degradation, and enhancing vocal opportunities with a social enrichment will slow the progression of vocal communication deficits, improve cognitive function, and decrease anxiety and anhedonia, a marker for depression in rodents. Preliminary results support our hypotheses. We have observed sustained improvements to vocal communication (i.e. intensity and peak frequency). Further, trends suggest improved cognition and decreased anxiety after social enrichment. These data suggest the utility of a social intervention to combat these devastating features of PD.
NIH T32 Voice Training Grant Predoctoral Fellow