Emotion in neurodegenerative disease
Social and emotional changes are common yet poorly understood features of neurodegenerative disease. The primary diseases that we study are frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Alzheimer's disease, diseases that target distinct neural networks. In FTD, behavioral changes are core symptoms and occur early in the disease while in Alzheimer's disease, social functioning and emotion may be spared until later in the disease course. One aim of our work is to identify the ares of emotional preservation and loss in FTD and Alzheimer's disease using multi-modal measures of emotion that are grounded in basic affective science.
Neuroanatomy of emotion
Emotions imbue meaning in our everyday lives, signalling to us when we should distance ourselves from danger or approach a friendly face. Disruptions in the neural systems that support emotion generation, understanding, and regulation may give to affective symptoms. We integrate psychophysiological and behavioral data from our laboratory assessments with magnetic resonance imaging techniques in order to examine how neurodegeneration of neural networks give rise to specific emotional deficits.
Figure 2 from "Heightened emotional contagion in mild cognitive
impairment and Alzheimer’s disease is associated
with temporal lobe degeneration." Click on picture for pdf.