Annalena Venneri's research while affiliated with Brunel University London and other places

Publications (380)

Article
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Apathy is the commonest neuropsychiatric symptom in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Previous findings suggest that apathy is caused by a communication breakdown between functional neural networks involved in motivational–affective processing. This study investigated the relationship between white matter (WM) damage and apathy in AD. Sixty-one patients wi...
Article
Background: Hallucinations in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been linked to more severe cognitive and functional decline. However, research on visual hallucinations (VH), the most common type of hallucinations in AD, is limited. Objective: To investigate the cognitive and cerebral macrostructural and metabolic features associated with VH in AD....
Article
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Objective: Prior to evidence of episodic memory decline, a lengthy preclinical phase of Alzheimer's disease (AD) exists characterized by the build-up of tau pathology within extrahippocampal structures. Semantic memory, also impaired in AD, has been linked to degradation within these earliest affected areas. This study aimed to assess the utility...
Article
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Psychoses in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are associated with worse prognosis. Genetic vulnerability for schizophrenia (SCZ) may drive AD-related psychoses, yet its impact on brain constituents is still unknown. This study aimed to investigate the association between polygenic risk scores (PRSs) for SCZ and psychotic experiences (PE) and grey matter (G...
Article
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People with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and delusions have worse quality of life and prognosis. However, early markers of delusions have not been identified yet. The present study investigated whether there are any detectable differences in grey matter (GM) volume and cognitive changes in the year before symptom onset between patients with AD who did...
Article
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Background People with dementia (PWD) are vulnerable to abrupt changes to daily routines. The lockdown enforced on the 23rd of March 2020 in the UK to contain the expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic limited opportunities for PWD to access healthcare services and socialise. The SOLITUDE study explored the potential long-term effects of lockdown on PW...
Article
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Objective Social distancing to limit COVID-19 transmission has led to extensive lifestyle changes, including for people with dementia (PWD). The aim of this study, therefore, was to assess the impact of lockdown on the mental health of PWD and their carers. Methods Forty-five carers of PWD completed a telephone interview during the baseline assess...
Article
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Decline in self-awareness is a prevalent symptom in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Current data suggest that an early breakdown in the brain’s default mode network (DMN) is closely associated with the main symptomatic features in AD patients. In parallel, the integrity of the DMN has been shown to be heavily implicated in retained self-awareness abiliti...
Article
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Background: Although performance on the category fluency test (CFT) is influenced by many cognitive functions (i.e., including language, executive functioning and speed of processing), item-level scoring methods of CFT performance might be a promising way to capture aspects of semantic memory that are less influenced by intervenient abilities. One...
Conference Paper
A major proportion of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) shows disorders of awareness in the early stages of disease that manifest as lack of/limited self‐awareness of their own cognitive deficits (anosognosia). Additionally, social awareness, i.e. aspects of social cognition, might also be impaired and reflect negatively on the patient’s capac...
Article
Ageing plays a major role in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Olfactory dysfunction can be an early alteration heralding the presence of a neurodegenerative disorder in ageing. Studying alterations in olfaction‐related brain regions might help detection of neurodegenerative diseases at an earlier stage. Objectives: To assess...
Article
Background: Social isolation and loneliness are both known to exert detrimental effects on mental health and cognitive functioning, as well as on medial temporal lobe volume in older adults. Reduced social interactions have also been found to increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older people. Since restrictions to social contacts...
Article
Hypertension is a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Both conditions cause significant irreversible damage to cerebral constituents that can result in a more severe AD phenotype. Although there are no effective treatments available for AD, hypertension is a modifiable risk factor and its detrimental effects can be alleviated with antih...
Article
Infection due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‐19) has been found to have detrimental effects on multiple body systems, especially in older adults. Acute neurological symptoms may be present and often associated with neural injuries. However, the long‐term consequences of COVID‐19 on neurocognitive functioning are still unknown. Therefore, this s...
Article
People with advanced Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may present with delusions that are associated with worse quality of life and prognosis. However, early markers of delusions have not been identified yet. The present study aimed to investigate whether differences in cognitive and grey matter (GM) volume decline can be detected in the year before sympto...
Article
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a condition with a large degree of clinical heterogeneity. A major classification is that between 'amnestic' and 'non‐amnestic' patients. It is known that large‐scale neural networks differ between these two subtypes. White‐matter‐hyperintensities (WMH) load may contribute to affecting the efficiency of these netw...
Article
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. Yet more recent findings from epidemiological and neuropathological studies have revealed the presence of vascular pathology in AD. There is overwhelming evidence from pathological examinations that indicates the presence of ‘mixed cases’ at autopsy. The study aim was to examine whether...
Article
Changes to the structural and functional integrity of brain systems are a prominent feature of both Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the normal ageing process. Recently, research in human brain connectomics has seen many studies adopting graph theoretical methods to explore brain network topology. However, conflicting evidence surrounding disease‐relat...
Article
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Background: Early and affordable identification of subjects with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) who will convert to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a major scientific challenge. Objective: To investigate the neurophysiological hallmarks of sensorimotor cortex function in aMCI under the hypothesis that some may represent the plastic rearrange...
Article
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Impairment of social cognition (SC) skills such as recognition and attribution of intentions and affective states of others (Theory of Mind, ToM) has been evidenced in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). This study investigated the neuropsychological, neuroanatomical and brain-functional underpinnings of SC processing to obtain an understanding of the social...
Article
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“Mild cognitive impairment” (MCI) is a diagnosis characterised by deficits in episodic memory (aMCI) or in other non-memory domains (naMCI). Although the definition of subtypes is helpful in clinical classification, it provides little insight on the variability of neurofunctional mechanisms (i.e., resting-state brain networks) at the basis of sympt...
Article
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Background: Category Fluency Test (CFT) is a common measure of semantic memory (SM). Test performance, however, is also influenced by other cognitive functions. We here propose a scoring procedure that quantifies the correlation between the serial recall order (SRO) of words retrieved during the CFT and a number of linguistic features, to obtain pu...
Chapter
The early symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders, such as, Alzheimer’s dementia, frequently co-exist with symptoms of depression and anxiety. This phenomenon makes detecting dementia more difficult due to overlapping symptoms. Recent research has shown promising results on the automatic detection of depression and memory problems using features ex...
Article
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In accordance with the physiological networks that underlie it, human cognition is characterized by both the segregation and interdependence of a number of cognitive domains. Cognition itself, therefore, can be conceptualized as a network of functions. A network approach to cognition has previously revealed topological differences in cognitive prof...
Article
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Background: Other than its direct impact on cardiopulmonary health, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection affects additional body systems, especially in older adults. Several studies have reported acute neurological symptoms that present at onset or develop during hospitalisation, with associated neural injuries. Whilst the acute neurologic...
Article
Visual hallucinations (VH) are common in Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, two forms of Lewy body disease (LBD), but the neural substrates and mechanisms involved are still unclear. We conducted meta-analyses of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and neuropsychological studies investigating the neuroanatomical and cognitive correlates o...
Article
Cognitive impairments are commonly observed in patients with multiple sclerosis and are associated with lower levels of quality of life. No consensus has been reached on how to tackle effectively cognitive decline in this clinical population non-pharmacologically. This exploratory case-control study aims to investigate the effectiveness of a hypoth...
Article
Visual hallucinations (VH) are common in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and are among the core symptoms for its clinical diagnosis. VH have been associated with cognitive alterations, although research findings in this area are still limited. The present study aimed at investigating the cognitive correlates of VH in DLB, and the baseline neuropsy...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The presence of recurrent, complex visual hallucinations (VH) is among the core clinical features of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). It has been proposed that VH arise from a disrupted organization of functional brain networks. However, studies are still limited, especially investigating the resting-state functional brain features und...
Article
Introduction Responsiveness to treatment with cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) is difficult to predict in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the current review, vascular burden is considered as a potential moderator of treatment responsiveness. Cerebrovascular burden co-occurs in at least 30% of AD brains, although it is debated if vascular pathology pl...
Article
Background: The assessment of semantic memory may be a useful marker to identify individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who will progress to Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the early stages of the disease. Objective: The aim of this five-year follow-up longitudinal study is to assess whether semantic assessment could predict progression in...
Article
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Objective: To investigate whether hearing difficulties exacerbate the damaging effects of enforced social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic on isolation and loneliness, and lead to accelerated mental health issues and cognitive dysfunction. Design: Rapid online survey. Participants completed a series of online questionnaires regarding hear...
Article
Background A common symptom of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is post-exertional malaise (PEM). Various brain abnormalities have been observed in patients with ME/CFS, especially in insular and limbic areas, but their link with ME/CFS symptoms is still unclear. This pilot study aimed at investigating the association bet...
Article
Background Individuals from sexual minorities experience health inequalities that have detrimental impacts on their health, especially in the elderly, by exacerbating care needs and symptoms of chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Neurocognitive decline due to AD in the sexual minority population remains under-investigated. However,...
Article
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Background: How the relationship between obesity and MRI-defined neural properties varies across distinct stages of cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease is unclear. Objective: We used multimodal neuroimaging to clarify this relationship. Methods: Scans were acquired from 47 patients clinically diagnosed with mild Alzheimer's disease...
Article
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia worldwide and is characterised pathologically by the accumulation of amyloid beta and tau protein aggregates. Currently, there are no approved disease modifying therapies for clearance of either of these proteins from the brain of people with AD. As well as abnormalities in protein aggre...
Article
Background: The neural mechanisms of Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory are poorly understood. To shed light on the fMRI-informed neurobiology of this condition, in this study we characterise for the first time the neurofunctional architecture of a 20-year old individual (BB) with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory and no concurrent neur...
Chapter
Hallucinations are severe and disabling symptoms experienced in various neurodegenerative and psychiatric conditions. Over the years, neuroimaging techniques have allowed the investigation of the neural mechanisms underpinning this symptomatology. The present chapter summarises positron emission tomography and single-photon emission computed tomogr...
Article
Background: The association between regional volumes and resting-state functional networks was tested within the default-mode network (DMN), influenced by Alzheimer's pathology, salience network (SalN), not under similar pathological influence, and sensorimotor network (SMN), usually spared by pathology. Methods: One-hundred-and-forty-eight part...
Article
In clinical settings, AD is defined by characteristic deficits in neuropsychological testing supported by amyloid and tau biomarkers and neuroimaging abnormalities. The biological cause of neuropsychological changes is not established. Tau deposition correlates with, but does not fully account for all observed neuropsychological impairments. We hav...
Article
Individuals from sexual minorities experience health inequalities that have a detrimental impact on both physical and mental health. This disadvantage may particularly affect ageing people by exacerbating symptoms of chronic conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and generating more complex care needs. However, neurocognitive functioning and...
Article
The dramatic recent rise in referrals to specialist memory clinics has been associated with an increased proportion of patients referred with Functional Memory Disorder (FMD), i.e. non‐progressive cognitive complaints. These referrals have exerted time and financial pressures on secondary care services, impairing their ability to deliver high‐quali...
Conference Paper
Sleep quality might influence the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients, driving alterations in brain morphology and functional connectivity. However, the relationship between sleep, gray matter atrophy, and functional connectivity is poorly understood. The present study aims to compare levels of th...
Article
Genome‐wide association studies have confirmed the APOE ε4 allele as the single‐nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) best associated with Alzheimer’s disease. These same studies, however, have found that a considerable number of other SNPs are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The statistical association yielded by these other SNPs, however, is conside...
Article
Past research has shown that Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) can have a significant detrimental effect on the cerebrovascular system. Previous work has also indicated that type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), along with being a risk factor for AD, shares certain similarities with AD in terms of the mechanisms affecting the cerebrovascular system. Hence, comor...
Conference Paper
Patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may display impairment of social cognition (SC) such as the ability to attribute intentions, beliefs or emotions to others (Theory of Mind, ToM). In healthy subjects, SC relies on multi‐network interactions that modulate brain social processing. Therefore, specific pathological changes in mul...
Conference Paper
Sleep has been identified as a modifiable factor involved in both the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Previous findings have suggested that poor sleep may be associated with increased risk of AD. Conversely, higher quality of sleep may slow progression of pathophysiological mechanisms in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) thro...
Article
In accordance with the physiological networks which underlie it, human cognition is characterised by both segregation and interdependence of a number of cognitive domains. Cognition itself, therefore, constitutes a network, the organisation of which may be quantifiable using methods of graph theory. The present study aimed to exploit graph theory m...
Article
Introduction Recent years have seen an almost sevenfold rise in referrals to specialist memory clinics. This has been associated with an increased proportion of patients referred with functional cognitive disorder (FCD), that is, non-progressive cognitive complaints. These patients are likely to benefit from a range of interventions (eg, psychother...
Article
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Evidence from murine models and human post-mortem studies indicates that monoaminergic nuclei undergo degeneration at the pre-symptomatic stage of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Analysing 129 datasets from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) and relying on the Clinical Dementia Rating as group-defining instrument, we hypothesised that...
Conference Paper
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Speech-based automatic approaches for detecting neurodegenerative disorders (ND) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have received more attention recently due to being non-invasive and potentially more sensitive than current pen-and-paper tests. The performance of such systems is highly dependent on the choice of features in the classification pipe...
Conference Paper
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Speech and language based automatic dementia detection is of interest due to it being non-invasive, low-cost and potentially able to aid diagnosis accuracy. The collected data are mostly audio recordings of spoken language and these can be used directly for acoustic-based analysis. To extract linguistic-based information, an automatic speech recogn...
Article
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Background: The sudden and drastic changes due to the Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic have impacted people's physical and mental health. Clinically-vulnerable older people are more susceptible to severe effects either directly by the COVID-19 infection or indirectly due to stringent social isolation measures. Social isolation and lonelin...
Article
Background: Research indicates that polygenic indices of risk of Alzheimer's disease are linked to clinical profiles. Objective: Given the "genetic centrality" of the APOE gene, we tested whether this held true for both APOE-ε4 carriers and non-carriers. Methods: A polygenic hazard score (PHS) was extracted from 784 non-demented participants r...
Article
An increasing proportion of cognitive difficulties are recognized to have a functional cause, the chief clinical indicator of which is internal inconsistency. When these symptoms are impairing or distressing, and not better explained by other disorders, this can be conceptualized as a cognitive variant of functional neurological disorder, termed fu...
Article
High quality of sleep may mitigate the impact of pathophysiological mechanisms in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) through functional connectivity reorganization of neural networks underlying higher cognitive functions. Thirty-eight MCI patients stratified into high and low quality of sleep according to a self-reported questionnaire for sleep habits...
Article
Objectives/Aims We used our automated cognitive assessment tool to explore whether responses to questions probing recent and remote memory could aid in distinguishing between patients with early neurodegenerative disorders and those with Functional Cognitive Disorders (FCD). Hypotheses: pwFCD would have no significant differences in pause to speech...
Article
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A 76 year-old male with a diagnosis of early Alzheimer's disease volunteered for a research study. Testing revealed a severe progressive hearing loss significantly affecting quality of life and leading to low mood and memory complaints. Formal testing revealed no objective evidence of cognitive decline or specific memory impairments. Volumetric ana...
Article
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Cognitive deficit has been reported in coeliac disease (CD), but previous reports often study heterogenous samples of patients at multiple stages of the disease, or lack control data. Healthy controls (N = 21), newly diagnosed CD patients (NCD; N = 19) and established CD patients (ECD; N = 35) were recruited from a specialist UK centre. Participant...
Article
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Background The links between hearing impairment (HI) and dementia have been well documented, but factors mediating this relationship remain unknown. Major consequences of HI are social and emotional dysfunction, and as the risk of dementia increases linearly with the severity of HI, it is plausible that socio-emotional difficulties may play a role...
Article
Anosognosia in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is defined as a lack of awareness for cognitive deficits or severity of disease. Previous studies have highlighted the link between anosognosia and damage to prefrontal functioning, i.e., executive functions. This study investigated the neuropsychological and neurostructural substrates of domain specific anos...
Article
Full-text available
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is diagnosed using neuropsychological testing, supported by amyloid and tau biomarkers and neuroimaging abnormalities. The cause of neuropsychological changes is not clear since they do not correlate with biomarkers. This study investigated if changes in cellular metabolism in AD correlate with neuropsychological changes. F...
Preprint
Data limitation is one of the most common issues in training machine learning classifiers for medical applications. Due to ethical concerns and data privacy, the number of people that can be recruited to such experiments is generally smaller than the number of participants contributing to non-healthcare datasets. Recent research showed that generat...
Article
Data limitation is one of the most common issues in training machine learning classifiers for medical applications. Due to ethical concerns and data privacy, the number of people that can be recruited to such experiments is generally smaller than the number of participants contributing to non-healthcare datasets. Recent research showed that generat...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, a rapidly increasing collection of investigative methods in addition to changes in diagnostic criteria for dementia have followed "high-tech" trends in medicine, with the aim to better define the dementia syndrome and its biological substrates, mainly in order to predict risk prior to clinical expression. These approaches are not w...
Article
Aims: To assess the correlation between cognitive functioning and 3 gait parameters (gait speed, cadence, and stride length) in persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and cognitively healthy controls and investigate linear correlations between gait and gray matter volumes. Materials and methods: Participants were recruited at IRCCS San Cam...
Article
Hypnotic-focused analgesia (HFA) was produced in 20 highly hypnotizable subjects receiving nociceptive stimulations while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The fMRI pattern in brain cortex activation while receiving a painful stimulus was recorded both during nonhypnosis and during HFA. The scanning protocol included the acqu...
Article
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For precision medicine to be implemented through the lens of in silico technology, it is imperative that biophysical research workflows offer insight into treatments that are specific to a particular illness and to a particular subject. The boundaries of precision medicine can be extended using multiscale, biophysics-centred workflows that consider...
Article
Since age is the most significant risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), it is important to understand the effect of normal ageing on brain network characteristics before we can accurately diagnose the condition based on information derived from resting state electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, aiming to detect brain networ...
Article
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Group comparison studies have established that activity in the posterior part of the default-mode network (DMN) is down-regulated by both normal ageing and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this study linear regression models were used to disentangle distinctive DMN activity patterns that are more profoundly associated with either normal ageing or a str...
Article
For precision medicine to be implemented through the lens of in silico technology, it is imperative that biophysical research workflows offer insight into treatments that are specific to a particular illness and to a particular subject. The boundaries of precision medicine can be extended using multiscale, biophysics-centred workflows that consider...
Article
Full-text available
Our aim was to investigate the association between behavioral symptoms of agitation, disinhibition, irritability, elation, and aberrant motor behavior to frontal brain volumes in a cohort with various neurodegenerative diseases. A total of 121 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI, n = 58), Alzheimer's disease (AD, n = 45) and behavioral var...