Rebecca Thea Kjærgaard Hendel defends her PhD thesis

Rebecca Hendel. Foto: Tomas Bertelsen
Foto: Tomas Bertelsen

Title

'Apathy, Social Cognition, and Self‐Perception: Assessing Neuropsychological Factors in Huntington’s Disease'.

Time and place

12 December 2022 at 1 pm (CET).

The defence will take place in Auditorium 1, Building 44, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, 2100 Copenhagen Ø,

Assessment committee

  • Professor Randi Starrfelt, Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (chair)

  • Associate Professor Malene Flensborg Damholdt, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark

  • Professor Roger Barker, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Supervisors

  • Associate Professor Asmus Vogel, Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen and Danish Dementia Research Centre, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (principal supervisor)

  • Professor Jørgen Erik Nielsen, The Neurogenetics Clinic & Research Lab, Danish Dementia Research Centre, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (co‐supervisor)

  • Lena Hjermind, MD, PhD, The Neurogenetics Clinic & Research Lab, Danish Dementia Research Centre, Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital (co‐supervisor)

Abstract

Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disease. It is characterised by motoric disabilities, cognitive impairments, and psychiatric illnesses, but very often also includes behavioural symptoms, sleep disturbances, and changes in the autonomic nervous system.

This PhD project examined changes in Self-Perception, Social Cognition, and Apathy in a large single site cohort of HD gene expansion carriers and gene-negative family controls. Such symptoms can lead to a high degree of caregiver distress and a decreased quality of life in patients and their caregivers, which is why a comprehensive description of these deficits are warranted.

Copies of the PhD thesis will be available in the auditorium. You can also contact brit.mouritsen@regionh.dk to request a copy.