Dr Daniel Blackburn
BSc, MBChB, MRCP, PhD
Department of Neuroscience
Honorary Senior Lecturer
+44 114 215 9101
Full contact details
Department of Neuroscience
385a Glossop Road
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 have recently taken up a consultant neurology post. My main subspecialty interest is in dementia.
- Research interests
My research interests are into Post-Stroke Dementia and diagnostic tests for early dementia or cognitive impairment. I am investigating novel mechanisms of diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias using electroencephalography (EEG) and conversation analysis.
I am a co-applicant on a NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme: PB-PG-0211-24079 – Using Conversation Analysis in the Differential Diagnosis of Memory Problems: a pilot study is using the technique of conversational analysis to explore how people with and without an organic memory disorder describe their subjective memory complaint.
This work is being led by Professor Markus Reuber, who has used this technique in the field of epilepsy and non-epileptic attacks.
I am PI for an Alzheimer’s Research United Kingdom (ARUK-PPG20114B-25) 2014-2016 (£29,805) to ‘Developing a new biomarker for the early diagnosis of dementia; a novel non-linear signal processing approach using resting state EEG’.
This is in collaboration with Dr Ptolemy Sarrigianis in the department of Neurophysiology.
- Quantitative EEG (using Error Reduction Ratio causality test) can record differences in bi-parietal synchronisation between people with Alzheimer’s disease compared to healthy controls. Funded by Alzheimer’s Research United Kingdom (ARUK-PPG20114B-25) 2014-2016 (£29,805) & 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.
- Automated Conversation Analysis to stratify and monitor patients with Cognitive Impairment.
- Funding Medical Research Council Confidence in Concept. COCOA (COmputerised Cognitive Assessment) – proof-of-concept. 2018-19. £49,513 & 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
- Astrocytes play a crucial role in the progression of Motor Neuron Disease. The use of laser capture microdissected astrocytes at different time points from the murine model have shown defects in the normal supportive role- providing cholesterol to neurones as well as an increased immune response. I have now progressed this and with collaborators in SITRAN have produced i-Astrocytes from skin samples of my patients with sporadic AD.
- Funding: Azheimer research UK Preparatory Clinical Research Fellowship (ARUK-PCRF2016A-1: £69998). Jan 2016 & 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.
PI is Simon Bell who is my academic clinical fellow I am supervising. Collaboration with Professor Stephen Wharton, Drs Laura Ferraiuolo and Heather Mortiboys.
- Investigating role Neutrophil derived microvesicles: linking systemic inflammation and dementia ARUK: ARUK-PPG2018A-009: PI Julie Simpson. 2018-19.
- NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme. 14/140/80 Journeying through dementia; randomised controlled trial of clinical and cost effectiveness. 2015-2019. (£2,017,925). This is a collaboration with ScHARR and Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust
- 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..
Conference proceedings papers
- Computational Cognitive Assessment: Investigating the Use of an Intelligent Virtual Agent for the Detection of Early Signs of Dementia. ICASSP 2019 - 2019 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), 12 May 2019 - 17 May 2019.
- A novel quantitative EEG approach to distiguish Alzheimer’s disease from fronto tempura dementia and healthy controls. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, Vol. 381 (pp 319-319)
- An avatar to screen for cognitive impairment. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, Vol. 381 (pp 319-319)
- An Avatar-based system for identifying individuals likely to develop dementia. Interspeech 2017 (pp 3147-3151) View this article in WRRO
- CONVERSATIONAL ASSESSMENT IN MEMORY CLINIC ENCOUNTERS: CREATING A DIAGNOSTIC SCORING AID FOR DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS OF DEMENTIA AND FUNCTIONAL MEMORY DISORDERS. Alzheimer's & Dementia, Vol. 13(7) (pp P1238-P1238), 15 July 2017 - 20 July 2017. View this article in WRRO
- QEEG CAN DISTINGUISH PATIENTS WITH AD AND VOLUNTEERS. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, Vol. 87(12) (pp e1.192-e1)
- CONVERSATION ANALYSIS IN THE MEMORY CLINIC. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, Vol. 87(12) (pp e1.191-e1)
- O4-09-02: Quantitative Eeg Can Identify Difference Between Patients with Alzheimer's Disease and Healthy Volunteers on an Individual Level. Alzheimer's & Dementia, Vol. 12 (pp P353-P354)
- DEVELOPING A NEUROLOGY MENTORING PROGRAMME FOR TRAINEES. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, Vol. 85(10) (pp e4.162-e4)
- FUNCTIONAL MEMORY DISORDER; REVIEW FROM A MEMORY CLINIC. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, Vol. 85(10) (pp e4.137-e4)
- PREVALENCE OF SLEEP DISORDERS IN A MEMORY CLINIC POPULATION. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, Vol. 85(10) (pp e4.171-e4)
- A NIGHT TO REMEMBER: ALL WHITE THEN, ALL RIGHT NOW?. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, Vol. 83(Suppl 2) (pp A16.2-A16)
- A Comparison of Acoustic and Linguistics Methodologies for Alzheimer’s Dementia Recognition. Interspeech 2020
- Improving Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease Using Automatic Speech Recognition to Identify High-Quality Segments for More Robust Feature Extraction. Interspeech 2020
- Improving Cognitive Impairment Classification by Generative Neural Network-Based Feature Augmentation. Interspeech 2020
- Acoustic Feature Extraction with Interpretable Deep Neural Network for Neurodegenerative Related Disorder Classification. Interspeech 2020
- Automatic Hierarchical Attention Neural Network for Detecting AD. Interspeech 2019
- Detecting Signs of Dementia Using Word Vector Representations. Interspeech 2018
- Research group
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; 1.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. 2. Dr Ronan O’Malley working on the Digital Doctor programme.
- Teaching interests
I am co- module leader on two parts of the MSc in Clinical Neurology (Neurodegeneration and applied neuro-anatomy) and lead the research projects module. I helped set up this MSc and develop the curriculum and teaching components.
I teach undergraduate medical students and on the Foundations in Relationship-centred dementia care.
- Professional activities
- 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 on two parts of the MSc in Clinical Neurology Neurodegeneration and applied neuro-anatomy.
- I teach on the Foundations in Relationship-centred dementia care University of Sheffield.
- Key collaborations
- Dr Heidi Christensen- Senior Lecturer Computer Science
- Dr Ptolemaios Sarrigiannis, Consultant Neurophysiologist
- Professor Ananlena Venneri- Neuropsychology & Imaging
- Dr Matteo De Marco- Neuropsychology & Imaging
- Professor Markus Reuber- Neurology
- Dr Traci Walker- Lecturer Department of Human Communication Sciences