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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Alterations in emotion are common in neurodegenerative disease. Although often associated with diminished functioning, neurodegeneration of emotion circuits can lead to both losses and gains in a range of emotional functions, including reactivity, regulation, appraisal, and empathy. Most previous research in this area has focused on the impact of neurodegeneration on negative emotions; however, there has recently been increasing interest in the degree to which neurodegenerative diseases may also alter positive emotions. This chapter reviews how different neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease) impact positive emotions and the neural basis of positive emotion alterations. We will also discuss how decreases and increases in positive emotional reactivity can lead to specific behavioral symptoms in neurodegenerative disease and can impact patients’ family members and caregivers.

Keywords: neurodegenerative diseases, dementia, salience network, visceromotor, emotion circuits, positive emotional reactivity

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