Language is a product of cognition and is severely affected in dementia. But how early do linguistic changes begin, and what do they signify? Previous research has found not only that language alters as Alzheimer’s develops, but also that some people who now have Alzheimer’s were already showing different language patterns in their early adult writing. Do these findings mean it might be possible to identify decades in advance who will later develop Alzheimer’s, by looking at their language? It is too early to say, but this project will investigate patterns in the language of unimpaired volunteers who are at different levels of genetic risk of future Alzheimer’s, to see if risk level correlates with differences in language patterns, as predicted by the previous research.
People and Organisations
Principal investigator: Prof. Alison Wray, Centre for Language and Communicaton Research, ENCAP, Cardiff University
Research Assistants: Dr Rosie Dymond and Samantha Collins, Centre for Language and Communication Research, ENCAP, Cardiff Univeristy
Funders: BRACE, Wellcome Trust
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