We conducted the first study to explore the capacity to experience pleasure in FTD and its potential overlap with related motivational symptoms including apathy and depression. Here are some interviews with Muireann Irish talking about anhedonia as an early sign in FTD.
To view the original paper published in Brain - "Uncovering the prevalence and neural substrates of anhedonia in frontotemporal dementia." Brain, 144(5): 1551-1564, see https://www.forefrontresearch.org/siobhan-shaw/
The New Daily: Early signs of dementia can be mistaken for a midlife crisis or depression
Loss of the ability to experience pleasure - or anhedonia - has been revealed as a key feature in frontotemporal dementia, in contrast to Alzheimer's disease. The findings from brain scans, believed to be a first, show grey matter deterioration in the so-called pleasure system of the brain - these regions were distinct from those implicated in depression or apathy, suggesting a possible treatment target for the early-onset dementia that affects people from 40-65 years.
INTERVIEW: Loss of pleasure and happiness linked to frontotemporal dementia, brain study shows
Those living with a type of dementia that affects younger people can't feel as happy as they did before developing the disease because the pleasure system in their brain has deteriorated, new research suggests. Professor Irish explains that she and her team set out to answer a simple question: can people living with different types of dementia experience pleasure the same way they did when they were healthy?
Neuroscience News Profound Loss of Pleasure Related to Early-Onset Dementia
Study links anhedonia, or the loss of pleasure, to the early onset of frontotemporal dementia. Neuroimaging revealed symptoms of anhedonia were marked by atrophy in the frontal and striatal brain areas of those with FTD.
Medical Life Sciences News
Study demonstrates profound anhedonia in people with frontotemporal dementia
People with early-onset dementia are often mistaken for having depression and now Australian research has discovered the cause: a profound loss of ability to experience pleasure - for example a delicious meal or beautiful sunset - related to degeneration of 'hedonic hotspots' in the brain where pleasure mechanisms are concentrated.
Genetic engineering and biotechnology News
Loss of Pleasure Linked to Early-Onset Dementia Not Alzheimer’s, New Study Finds
The ability to feel pleasure depends on the activity of hedonic hotspots in the brain. Scientists at the University of Sydney, led by Irish, show loss of the ability to experience pleasure is unique to early-onset dementia, also known as frontotemporal dementia (FTD), but not Alzheimer’s disease. This is the first study the researchers claim, that links FTD to the loss of the ability to experience pleasure—clinically called anhedonia.
People with early-onset dementia are often mistaken for having depression and now research has discovered the cause: a profound loss of ability to experience pleasure - related to degeneration of 'hedonic hotspots' in the brain where pleasure mechanisms are concentrated. Our paper was the top story on Reddit with over 48.3K upvotes.