The University of Southampton
Engineering and the Environment

Alzheimer's: managing the conversation

Published: 
22 March 2017
Professor Anna Barney
Professor Anna Barney

Researchers at the University of Southampton are breaking new ground in a bid to better understand the onset of Alzheimer’s, a disease that affects more than half a million people in the UK each year.

Investigating whether speech could be used as a reliable indicator for the progressive onset of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, is the focus of the pioneering research by Anna Barney, Professor of Biomedical Acoustic Engineering and her team.

Anna explained: “Speaking puts a lot of strain on the brain. We have to work quite hard to speak and especially to take part in conversations, so we can tell how well the brain is working from looking at how people speak.”

In collaboration with Professor Peter Garrard based at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, the team studied groups of patients shortly after diagnosis while they were talking to people who did not suffer from the condition.

This story is one of many featured on our Research highlights page, which demonstrate how work that goes on right here at your university is impacting and improving the world around us.

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