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Translational Neuroendocrinology

Our research

The Translational Neuroendocrine Research Unit (TNU) focuses on Huntington’s disease (HD). Furthermore, we study the spectrum of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the behavioral variant of frontal temporal dementia (bvFTD). These are fatal neurodegenerative disorders without effective disease-modifying therapies.

Although research has previously focused on the well-known disturbances in motor function for HD and ALS, emerging studies point to early non-motor features with altered emotional processing, metabolic dysfunction, and changes in sleep. The underlying hypothesis for our research program is that early changes in these disorders consist of hypothalamic dysfunction and pathology. Our previously published studies have shown pioneering data on hypothalamic pathology in these disorders.


Ongoing and future studies in the research group aim to determine:

  • The cellular and molecular mechanisms of hypothalamic dysfunction in HD and ALS/FTD.

  • The casual relationships between expression of disease-causing genes in the hypothalamus and development of disease manifestations for HD and ALS/FTD. 

  •  If hypothalamic targets can be used in interventions to modify disease progression for HD and ALS/FTD.


Our research aims to identify disease mechanisms of fatal neurodegenerative disorders and to target them for therapeutic intervention. This is of great importance for the families suffering from these devastating disorders.

How our research contributes to the goals of MultiPark

With our projects, we establish and study new animal models for HD and ALS/FTD focusing on the earliest manifestations of these disorders. We test novel therapeutic approaches for developing more effective symptomatic treatments as well as new disease-modifying therapies. Our research addresses the aims of MultiPark's working groups 1 and 5. 

Research Team & Publications

Read about publications and research team members of the Translational Neuroendocrinology in the LU Research Portal. 

Profile photo of Åsa Petersén wearing white hospital clothing.
Photo: Agata Garpenlind

Åsa Petersén

Professor, Senior Consultant in Psychiatry.

asa [dot] petersen [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (asa[dot]petersen[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Link to Åsa Petersén's profile in the LU Research Portal.

Åsa Petersén´s research team