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Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) describes a group of progressive neurodegenerative diseases that can affect a number of cognitive domains: language, problem solving, planning and organising behaviours, and even social cognition - how we interact with those around us. The concept of the self fades with disease progression and many aspects of one’s own personality are lost, but what contributes to this? Join us to explore what can cause our sense of self to change.
Introduction to FTD
Dementia affects more than just memory and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a clear illustration of this. Dr Jonathan Rohrer is a clinician scientist researching FTD, leading an international study called GENFI (Genetic Frontotemporal dementia Initiative) which looks at clinical, cognitive, neuroimaging and biological changes in genetic FTD. Dr Rohrer will give us an introduction to this complex group of neurodegenerative diseases, talk about what contributes to the concept of 'the self', and discuss how the self can be altered or perhaps lost in FTD.
The Self and social cognition
Lucy Russell (PhD student)
Lucy Russell is a PhD student and research assistant at the Dementia Research Centre, UCL, studying social cognition and how it is affected in the different forms of FTD. Lucy will explain what social cognition means, how we can measure it, and how poor social cognition contributes to the loss of the self in FTD.
Imaging The Self
Mica Clarke is also a PhD student at the Dementia Research Centre, looking at novel molecular imaging biomarkers that can be used to track disease progression in FTD. Mica's talk will give insights into what causes the concept of the self to change in FTD, by exploring the structural damage and altered connectivity that we see in the brain.