student profile: Mr Johannes Carapiet Michaelian Michaelian


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Does Intranasal Oxytocin Enhance Emotions in Dementia?

Supervisors: Camilla HOYOS , Adam GUASTELLA , Sharon NAISMITH

Thesis abstract:

While emotion expression is relatively spared in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and/or Vascular dementia, deficits in the ability to comprehend the emotional state of others are common. This dysfunction in emotion recognition has further been associated with difficulties in interpersonal relationships, reduced effectiveness of social behaviours, poorer marital relationships and caregiver impact. These socio-emotional disturbances contribute significantly against the quality of life and the likelihood of a person living with dementia being placed in residential care. Despite the considerable functional impact, no treatments are available to improve emotion recognition disturbances in dementia. However, seminal studies in neuropsychiatric diseases, such as autism and frontotemporal dementia, have suggested that the neuropeptide hormone oxytocin can improve the ability to process socially relevant information. Moreover, intranasal oxytocin administration is a safe, non-invasive method of delivery. For the first time, this novel study aims to understand to whether intranasal oxytocin can be used as a therapeutic compound to improve emotion recognition in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and/or Vascular dementia, to potentially reduce overall caregiver impact and delay placement in residential care.

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.