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Dr. Steen Hasselbalch

Clinical Professor

Dr. Hasselbalch is a consultant neurologist at the Danish Dementia Research Centre, Rigshospitalet, at the University of Copenhagen.

Languages : English, Danish


Steen G. Hasselbalch is a consultant neurologist at the Danish Dementia Research Centre, Rigshospitalet, and clinical associate professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. He has an extensive clinical research experience within the field of cognition and dementia disorders, and is currently the principal investigator of a large Danish multicentre trial on physical exercise in Alzheimer's disease.


How Exercise Helps Curb Alzheimer’s Symptoms
TIME Health

June 23, 2015

At the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in July 2015, scientists report some encouraging news about the benefits of exercise. In the first studies to look at physical activity among people already diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s, moderate to high intensity workouts may not only slow down the biological symptoms of Alzheimer's—but may lead to improvements in cognitive functions as well.

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State-of-the-art work-up of dementia disorder
Ugeskr Laeger.

2017Early diagnosis of a dementia disorder is required for early support, treatment and information. A basic programme including history taking, somatic and neurological examination, blood screening and a structural scan will suffice in typical cases. For patients with uncertain or atypical symptoms or disease course, supplementary investigations are warranted, including biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid, functional imaging and neuropsychological testing. Also, imaging of specific protein accumulations in Alzheimer's disease may serve to monitor disease progression and effects of interventions.

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Brain serotonin 4 receptor binding is inversely associated with verbal memory recall
Brain and Behavior

2017We have previously identified an inverse relationship between cerebral serotonin 4 receptor (5-HT4R) binding and nonaffective episodic memory in healthy individuals. Here, we investigate in a novel sample if the association is related to affective components of memory, by examining the association between cerebral 5-HT4R binding and affective verbal memory recall.

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State-dependent alterations in inhibitory control and emotional face identification in seasonal affective disorder
Journal of Abnormal Psychology

2017Background: Depressed individuals often exhibit impaired inhibition to negative input and identification of positive stimuli, but it is unclear whether this is a state or trait feature. We here exploited a naturalistic model, namely individuals with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), to study this feature longitudinally. Aim: The goal of this study was to examine seasonal changes in inhibitory control and identification of emotional faces in individuals with SAD. Method: Twenty-nine individuals diagnosed with winter-SAD and 30 demographically matched controls with no seasonality symptoms completed an emotional Go/NoGo task, requiring inhibition of prepotent responses to emotional facial expressions and an emotional face identification task twice, in winter and summer. Results: In winter, individuals with SAD showed impaired ability to inhibit responses to angry (p = .0006) and sad faces (p = .011), and decreased identification of happy faces (p = .032) compared with controls. In summer, individuals with SAD and controls performed similarly on these tasks (ps > .24). Conclusion: We provide novel evidence that inhibition of angry and sad faces and identification of happy faces are impaired in SAD in the symptomatic phase, but not in the remitted phase. The affective biases in cognitive processing constitute state-dependent features of SAD. Our data show that reinstatement of a normal affective cognition should be possible and would constitute a major goal in psychiatric treatment to improve the quality of life for these patients

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Cost-effectiveness of a randomised trial of physical activity in Alzheimer’s disease: a secondary analysis exploring patient and proxy-reported health-related quality of life measures in Denmark

2017Objectives To explore the cost-effectiveness of a supervised moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise programme in people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and estimate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) using participant-reported and proxy-reported measures of health-related quality of life (HRQoL)

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Area of Expertise


Complex Intervention Strategies

Dementia Disorders

Neurodegenerative Disease

Psychiatric Diseases


Editorial Board of the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism - Member

Panel of Dementia and Cognitive Disorders, European Academy of Neurology - Member

Alzheimer Research Committee under the Danish Alzheimer Association - Chairman

Danish Alzheimer Research Foundation - Member

Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease - Associate Editor



Elder Care


Mental Health Care


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