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Hodges Group - Professor John Hodges

Our clinical research group is dedicated to the study of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and related disorders, notably motor neurone disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). The members of the frontotemporal dementia group (FRONTIER) are investigating the cognitive, behavioural, psychological, and brain changes associated with this disease and the impact on patients and their families. They are also studying how changes in FTD differ from those seen in other progressive neurodegenerative brain disorders, and in healthy ageing.

Senior Principal Research Fellow, NeuRA
Professor of Cognitive Neurology, UNSW
Ex-ARC Federation Fellow
T: +61 2 9399 1732
E: j.hodges@neura.edu.au

John Hodges trained in medicine and psychiatry in London, Southampton and Oxford before gravitating to neurology and becoming enamoured by neuropsychology. In 1990, he was appointed a University Lecturer in Cambridge and in 1997 became MRC Professor of Behaviour Neurology. A sabbatical in Sydney in 2002 with Glenda Halliday rekindled a love of sea, sun and surf which culminated in a move here in 2007 as ARC Federation Fellow and Professor of Cognitive Neurology. He has written 500 papers on aspects of neuropsychology (especially memory and languages) and dementia, plus six books. He co-directs (with Assoc Prof Olivier Piguet) a multidisciplinary research group (Frontier) which focuses on aspects of frontotemporal dementia.

Advancing knowledge on FTD by using a range of research methods

FTD is varied in the way it presents. Some patients have changes in behaviour and personality while others have progressive loss of language ability (aphasia).

Brain imaging

Frontotemporal dementia predominantly affects two regions of the brain: the frontal and temporal lobes.

Caregiver Burden

It is well known that dementia causes distress, especially for family members closely involved with a patient. In FTD, however, little research has been done to understand caregiver stress.

Cognition in Motor Neurone Disease (MND)

Classically, motor neurone disease (MND) has been considered a pure motor syndrome which spares aspects of cognition, behaviour and emotional processing.

Coping with everyday life disabilities

Everyday life can be affected by FTD in different ways.

Deficits in emotion processing and autobiographical memory and their impact on carers

How is the processing of emotion impaired in FTD? How does it affect the ability to remember meaningful and important information from one's life? How does it affect interpersonal relationships?

Eating and metabolic changes in frontotemporal dementia and motor neurone disease

It is well recognised that patients with FTD have changes in appetite control and food preference towards sweet food. They also become very rigid in their food choices.

Genetics of Frontotemporal Dementia

It is not uncommon for patients with FTD to have one relative with another dementia or a neurologic illness.

Identifying biomarkers in Frontotemporal Dementia

In order to develop treatments and effective interventions for patients with FTD, the underlying process of brain degeneration needs to be identified early in the disease course.

Neuropathology of frontotemporal dementia

Unlike other neurodegenerative conditions, people with FTD may have one of a number different underlying cellular brain changes.

Research team 
Professor John Hodges 's picture
Professor John Hodges
Senior Principal Research Fellow, NeuRA
Professor of Cognitive Neurology, UNSW
T: +61 2 9399 1732
E: j.hodges@neura.edu.au
James Burrell's picture
Dr James Burrell
Senior Research Officer
T: +612 9399 1823
E: j.burrell@neura.edu.au
Cristian Leyton's picture
Dr Cristian Leyton
Research Officer (Honorary)
T: +612 9399 1025
E: c.leyton@neura.edu.au
David Foxe's picture
David Foxe
Research Assistant
T: +612 9399 1085
E: d.foxe@neura.edu.au
Dr Emma Devenney's picture
Dr Emma Devenney
PhD Student
T: +612 9399 1813
E: e.devenney@neura.edu.au
Sarah Homewood's picture
Sarah Homewood
Personal Assistant/Lab Manager
T: +612 9399 1734
E: s.homewood@neura.edu.au