Date of Award

5-3-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jessica Turner

Second Advisor

Bruce Crosson

Third Advisor

Vince Calhoun

Abstract

Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a debilitating genetic disorder characterized by motor, cognitive and psychiatric abnormalities. Among these psychiatric symptoms, apathy and depression are some of the most common mood symptoms in the pre-diagnosed population (prHD). This study examined the role of apathy and depression and their neural and cognitive correlates. We compared apathy and depression scores to measures of cognitive control, language, and motor symptoms in a sample of individuals with prHD. Additionally, we compared apathy and depression scores to activation in the default mode network, caudate, putamen, and supplementary motor area (SMA) during a timing task. We found that as apathy increases, cognitive control decreases. Increased activation in the SMA, during the task, was related to increased apathy. Increased depression was related to increased putamen activation. Our results further support the distinction between apathy and depression. Understanding the nature of this distinction can aid in development of interventions.

Available for download on Friday, March 29, 2019

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