Senior Lecturer & Honorary Consultant Neurologist
My research interests are into developing non-invasive scalable diagnostic tests for early dementia or cognitive impairment. I am investigating novel mechanisms of diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, post-stroke dementia and other dementias using automated assessment of language & electroencephalography (EEG).
I co-lead the development of CognoSpeakTM (https://cognospeak.github.io/website/) with Heidi Christensen from UoS Department of Computer Science (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/dcs). This is an automated assessment of Cognition that can be undertaken in people’s own homes. We have several on-going grants to develop this for use in Memory Assessment Pathways (MAP) and in the post-stroke population
I am working on novel resting state EEG processing approach to detect cognitive impairment.
I am investigating the utility of telematics to assess driving safety.
I also have a research interest in the role of astrocytes in neurodegeneration. My PhD investigated this in MND and I am part of a team investigating an in-vitro model of sporadic AD using inducible Neural Precursor Technology to grow astrocytes and neurones from people with sporadic AD and assay metabolic markers.
- UKRI ISCF Healthy Ageing Catalyst Award 2020; Understanding elderly drivers' behaviour and fitness to drive. £62,500
- Rosetrees Charity INTERDISCIPLINARY PRIZE 2019
MEDICINE WITH MATHEMATICS / COMPUTING / ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
- MEDICINE WITH MATHEMATICS / COMPUTING / ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE COMPutational Assessment of Stroke Survivors (COMPASS) £250,000 (co-funded with Knowledge Exchange,(UoS), Clinical Research Network Yorkshire & Humber,
- Health & Care Partnership, Sheffield. Remote monitoring people with Mild Cognitive Impairment using combined technology of the Digital Doctor and ViVA £24,774 2019-2021.
- Health Education England/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Programme Internship Scheme 2019/20. £8000. Zoe Unwin, EEG physiologist.
- Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) Pump Priming Award Notification (£7,000), 2018. Investigating potential of QEEG and digital doctor in memory assessment pathways in Kenya
- Medical Research Council Confidence in Concept. COCOA (COmputerised Cognitive Assessment) – proof-of-concept. 2018-19. £49,513
- 4wardNorth Wellcome Academy PhD Training Fellowship to fund Dr Simon Bell’s PhD project- Characterising astrocyte metabolic deficits in sporadic and familial AD to identify new therapeutic targets. 2018-2020.
- Neuroscience Research fund- Ryder Briggs (£32,000) March 2017-19. Developing qEEG as biomarker in fronto-temporal dementia.
- ARUK: ARUK-PPG2018A-009: Neutrophil derived microvesicles: linking systemic inflammation and dementia. PI Julie Simpson. 2018-19.
- Neuroscience small grant from Sheffield teaching Hospital’s- to fund Academic Clinical Fellow Ronan O’Malley develop the Avatar project to analyse semantic and letter fluency using Automatic Speech Recognition- 2018. (£3200)
- Alzheimer research UK Preparatory Clinical Research Fellowship (ARUK-PCRF2016A-1: £69998- Jan 2016). Creating an Astrocyte model of Alzheimer’s disease using induced Neural Progenitor Cell Technology PI is Simon Bell who is my academic clinical fellow I am supervising. Collaboration with Professor Stephen Wharton, Drs Laura Ferraiuolo and Heather Mortiboys.
- NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme. 14/140/80 Journeying through dementia; randomised controlled trial of clinical and cost effectiveness. 2015-2019. (£2,017,925). Collaboration with ScHARR and Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust
- NIHR Research Design Service Yorkshire and Humber (RDS YH) public involvement in grant application to develop Public and patient acceptability and co-design input on the Avatar project (£480) 2018.
- Medical Research Council Proximity to Discovery (MRC P2D: £4,988). Development of a novel biomarker for dementia diagnosis based on quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG).2015-2016. Collaboration between neurophysiology and a commercial partner the BlackBox Toolkit company
- Alzheimer’s Research United Kingdom (ARUK-PPG20114B-25) 2014-2016 (£29,805). Plus Yorkshire branch of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust Network. 2015 (£4000). Both ARUK grants are for ‘Developing a new biomarker for the early diagnosis of dementia; a novel non-linear signal processing approach using resting state EEG’
- NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme: PB-PG-0211-24079 – Using Conversation Analysis in the Differential Diagnosis of Memory Problems: a pilot study. 2013-2015. (£230,000).
I co-supervise Katy Barnes with Heather Mortiboys- investigating mitochondrial & metabolic dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease.
I co-supervise Yilin Pan with Heidi Christensen on the development of the automated conversation analysis tool- Digital Doctor of Jenna Littlejohn
I co-supervise two Neurology Academic Clinical fellows:
- Dr Simon Bell – has been funded by ARUK, NIHR Sheffield BRC and now Wellcome 4ward north Academy investigating models of sporadic AD using i-astrocytes.
- Dr Ronan O’Malley working on the Digital Doctor programme.
- Using interictal seizure-free EEG data to recognise patients with epilepsy based on machine learning of brain functional connectivity. Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, 67.
- Mitochondrial dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease : a biomarker of the future?. Biomedicines, 9(1).
- Neurologists’ perceptions of utilising tele-neurology to practice remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patient Education and Counseling. View this article in WRRO
- Fully automated cognitive screening tool based on assessment of speech and language. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 92(1), 12-15.
- The association between polygenic hazard scores and clinical markers of Alzheimer’s disease following stratification for APOE genotype. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 16(S4).
- Do deficits in mitochondrial spare respiratory capacity contribute to neuropsychological changes seen in Alzheimer’s disease?. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 16(S6).
- A fully automated cognitive screening tool based on assessment of speech and language. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 16(S6).
- The Association between Polygenic Hazard and Markers of Alzheimer’s Disease Following Stratification for APOE Genotype. Current Alzheimer Research, 17.
- C9orf72, age at onset, and ancestry help discriminate behavioral from language variants in FTLD cohorts. Neurology, 95(24), e3288-e3302.
- The Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioral ALS Screen (ECAS) in frontotemporal dementia. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration.
- Functional cognitive disorder : dementia’s blind spot. Brain. View this article in WRRO
- 26 Can an automated assessment of language help distinguish between Functional Cognitive Disorder and early neurodegeneration?. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 91(8), e18.2-e19.
- Characterising spoken responses to an intelligent virtual agent by persons with mild cognitive impairment. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics. View this article in WRRO
- Understanding the links between hearing impairment and dementia : development and validation of the social and emotional impact of hearing impairment (SEI-HI) questionnaire. Neurological Sciences. View this article in WRRO
- Cognitive behavioural therapy for adults with dissociative seizures (CODES): a pragmatic, multicentre, randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Psychiatry, 7(6), 491-505. View this article in WRRO
- Deficits in mitochondrial spare respiratory capacity contribute to the neuropsychological changes of alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Personalized Medicine, 10(2). View this article in WRRO
- 045 Food for thought: an unusual case of frontotemporal dementia. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 90(12), a21.
- 11.39 Association of british neurologists sustainability special interest group (ABN sustainability SIG): formation, objectives and invitation. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 90(12), a2.
- Tremor after long term lithium treatment; is it cortical myoclonus?. Cerebellum & Ataxias, 6(5). View this article in WRRO
- 055 The digital doctor : a fully automated stratification and monitoring system for patients with memory complaints. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 90(12). View this article in WRRO
- 056 Exploring the feasibility of automating verbal fluency tasks for cognitive assessment: data collection and analysis. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 90(12). View this article in WRRO
- Imaging of nonlinear and dynamic functional brain connectivity based on EEG recordings with the application on the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging. View this article in WRRO
- Characteristics of 698 patients with dissociative seizures: A UK multicenter study. Epilepsia, 60(11), 2182-2193. View this article in WRRO
- Altered frontal and insular functional connectivity as pivotal mechanisms for apathy in Alzheimer’s disease. Cortex, 119, 100-110. View this article in WRRO
- Cognitive deficits in vasculitis of the nervous system: a cross-sectional study. Postgraduate Medicine, 131(7), 546-549.
- A new diagnostic approach for the identification of patients with neurodegenerative cognitive complaints. PLoS ONE, 14(5). View this article in WRRO
- A Dementia Classification Framework using Frequency and Time-frequency Features based on EEG signals.. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering. View this article in WRRO
- Safety, Tolerability, and Nocebo Phenomena During Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A Systematic Review and Meta‐Analysis of Placebo‐Controlled Clinical Trials. Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. View this article in WRRO
- Dementia detection using automatic analysis of conversations. Computer Speech and Language, 53, 65-79. View this article in WRRO
- Ursodeoxycholic Acid Improves Mitochondrial Function and Redistributes Drp1 in Fibroblasts from Patients with either Sporadic or Familial Alzheimer's Disease. Journal of Molecular Biology, 430(21), 3942-3953. View this article in WRRO
- Music for Relaxation: A Comparison Across Two Age Groups. Journal of Music Therapy, 55(4), 439-462. View this article in WRRO
- Developing an intelligent virtual agent to stratify people with cognitive complaints: A comparison of human-patient and intelligent virtual agent-patient interaction.. Dementia. View this article in WRRO
- Patients’ accounts of memory lapses in interactions between neurologists and patients with functional memory disorders. Sociology of Health and Illness. View this article in WRRO
- A Pilot Study Investigating a Novel Non-Linear Measure of Eyes Open versus Eyes Closed EEG Synchronization in People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Controls. Brain Sciences, 8(7), 134-134. View this article in WRRO
- Motion artifacts in standard clinical setting obscure disease-specific differences in quantitative susceptibility mapping.. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 63(14), 14nt01-14nt01. View this article in WRRO
- An Interactional Profile to Assist the Differential Diagnosis of Neurodegenerative and Functional Memory Disorders. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 32(3), 197-206. View this article in WRRO
- Exaggerated startle in post-infectious opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome. Clinical Neurophysiology, 129(7), 1372-1373. View this article in WRRO
- Identifying patterns of communication in patients attending memory clinics: A systematic review of observations and signs with potential diagnostic utility. British Journal of General Practice, 68(667), e123-e138. View this article in WRRO
- PO029 An avatar aid in memory clinic. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 88(Suppl 1), A19.4-A20.
- PO017 Seeing the wood for the trees: a challenging case of altered consciousness. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 88(Suppl 1), A17.1-A17.
- Distinctive neuropsychological profiles differentiate patients with functional memory disorder from patients with amnestic-mild cognitive impairment. Acta Neuropsychiatrica. View this article in WRRO
- [P4-034]: MITOCHONDRIAL ABNORMALITIES ARE FOUND IN FIBROBLASTS FROM SPORADIC ALZHEIMER's DISEASE PATIENTS: RECOVERY WITH URSODOXYCHOLIC ACID TREATMENT. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 13(7S_Part_26), P1269-P1269.
- [P3-260]: CENTRAL AUDITORY DYSFUNCTION AS A MARKER OF NEURODEGENERATION. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 13(7S_Part_21), P1042-P1043.
- Toward the Automation of Diagnostic Conversation Analysis in Patients with Memory Complaints. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 58(2), 373-387. View this article in WRRO
- How the UK describes functional memory symptoms. Psychogeriatrics. View this article in WRRO
- Intensive versus Guideline Blood Pressure and Lipid Lowering in Patients with Previous Stroke: Main Results from the Pilot ‘Prevention of Decline in Cognition after Stroke Trial’ (PODCAST) Randomised Controlled Trial. PLOS ONE, 12(1). View this article in WRRO
- Patients who are not driving 6 weeks after transient ischaemic attack have higher levels of anxiety. Psychogeriatrics, 17(2), 146-146.
- P2-307: Is Social Handicap the Link Between Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline? Development and Validation of a New Tool: The Social and Emotional Associations of Hearing Loss (SEAH). Alzheimer's & Dementia, 12, P753-P754.
- P2-188: CONVERSATION ANALYSIS IN THE MEMORY CLINIC TO DISTINGUISH DEMENTIA FROM FUNCTIONAL MEMORY DISORDER. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 12, P691-P691.
- Papillary Thyroid Cancer in Subjects Who Were Children at the time of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident: Some Lessons for The Management of Fukushima’s Aftermaths. Jacobs Journal of Radiation Oncology, 3(2).
- Conversational assessment in memory clinic encounters: Interactional profiling for differentiating dementia from functional memory disorders. Aging and Mental Health, 20(5), 500-509. View this article in WRRO
- Journeying through Dementia, a community-based self-management intervention for people aged 65 years and over: a feasibility study to inform a future trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 1. View this article in WRRO
- Lysosomal and phagocytic activity is increased in astrocytes during disease progression in the SOD1 G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 9, 410-410. View this article in WRRO
- Lysosomal and phagocytic activity is increased in astrocytes during disease progression in the SOD1 G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. FRONTIERS IN CELLULAR NEUROSCIENCE, 9. View this article in WRRO
- Functional (Psychogenic) Cognitive Disorders: A Perspective from the Neurology Clinic. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 48(s1), S5-S17.
- Towards diagnostic conversational profiles of patients presenting with dementia or functional memory disorders to memory clinics. Patient Education and Counseling, 98(9), 1071-1077. View this article in WRRO
- Cerebral amyloid angiopathy: amyloid spells and cortical superficial siderosis. Practical Neurology, 15(2), 124-126.
- A Diagnosis for £55: what is the cost of government initiatives in dementia case finding?. Age and Ageing, 43(eLetters Supplement).
- Memory difficulties are not always a sign of incipient dementia: a review of the possible causes of loss of memory efficiency. British Medical Bulletin, 112(1), 71-81.
- P3-243: COMPARING THE NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILES OF PATIENTS WITH MEMORY DISORDERS OF DIFFERENT AETIOLOGY. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 10, P721-P721.
- Prevention of Decline in Cognition after Stroke Trial (PODCAST): a study protocol for a factorial randomised controlled trial of intensive versus guideline lowering of blood pressure and lipids. Trials, 14. View this article in WRRO
- P2-364: The changing face of the memory clinic in Sheffield, United Kingdom. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 9, P493-P493.
- O3-04-06: Faster forgetting: Distinguishing Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia with delayed recall measures. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 9, P526-P526.
- Delayed toxic–hypoxic encephalopathy. Practical Neurology, 13(2), 114-119.
- Repeat cognitive screening (MoCA, MMSE & ACE-R, IQCODE) in a high risk post-stroke population: data from the 'Prevention Of Decline in Cognition After Stroke Trial' (POD-CAST). CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASES, 35, 519-519.
- Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation following pulsed cyclophosphamide in a severely disabled patient with malignant multiple sclerosis. Journal of Neurology, 260(3), 914-916.
- Cognitive screening in the acute stroke setting. Age and Ageing, 42(1), 113-116.
- Breathing arms. The Spine Journal, 12(7), 629-630.
- A comparison of in vitro properties of resting SOD1 transgenic microglia reveals evidence of reduced neuroprotective function. BMC Neuroscience, 12(1). View this article in WRRO
- Letter by Blackburn et al Regarding Article, “Is the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Superior to the Mini-Mental State Examination to Detect Poststroke Cognitive Impairment? A Study With Neuropsychological Evaluation”. Stroke, 42(11).
- PO.11 How is stroke thrombolysis affecting neurology training?. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 82(9), e4-e4.
- PO.18 Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) presenting with posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 82(9), e4-e4.
- Mutant SOD1 G93A microglia have an inflammatory phenotype and elevated production of MCP-1. NeuroReport, 20(16), 1450-1455.
- Antibody-negative neuromyelitis optica with heavy B-cell infiltration. APMIS, 117(10), 768-772.
- Astrocyte function and role in motor neuron disease: A future therapeutic target?. Glia, 57(12), 1251-1264.
- Obesity and Brain Vulnerability in Normal and Abnormal Aging: A Multimodal MRI Study. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease Reports, 1-13.
- Peripheral Glycolysis in Neurodegenerative Diseases. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(23), 8924-8924.
- Diagnostic and investigative approach of consultant neurologists in a real‐world clinical setting: a pilot study. International Journal of Clinical Practice.
- Cognition and behaviour in frontotemporal dementia with and without amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
- Brain hyper-excitability in DPPX ataxia. Journal of Neurology.
- Nonlinear Classification of EEG recordings from patients with Alzheimer's Disease using Gaussian Process Latent Variable Model.
- Four-Stage Audit Demonstrating Increased Uptake of HIV Testing in Acute Neurology Admissions Using Staged Practical Interventions. PLOS ONE, 10(9), e0134574-e0134574. View this article in WRRO
- Patients who are not driving 6 weeks after TIA have higher levels of anxiety. Psychogeriatrics.
- Secretary of the Special Interest Group in Cognitive Disorders – Association of British Neurologists
- Member of the Training and Education Committee - Association of British Neurologists
- Member of the Translational Neuropsychology Group, University of Sheffield led by Professor Annalena Venneri
- Member of the South Yorkshire Interest Group in Dementia.
- I am a module leader the MSc in Clinical Neurology
I completed my undergraduate medical degree in Liverpool in 1998 and did my medical training in London. I have worked as a neurology SpR in Singapore and Nottingham prior to joining the University of Sheffield as a PhD student in 2005. I worked as a clinical lecturer in neurology from 2010-2013 and started as consultant neurology in 2013 before taking up my Senior Lecturer post in 2017. My main subspecialty interest is in dementia.
I am co- module leader on two parts of the MSc in Clinical Neurology and lead the research projects module. I helped set up this MSc and develop the curriculum and teaching components. I teach undergraduate medical students.