Dan BlackburnDr Daniel Blackburn BSc, MBChB, MRCP, PhD

Consultant Neurologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer

Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN),
University of Sheffield,
385A Glossop Road
S10 2HQ

Tel: +44 (0) 114 2159100
Email: d.blackburn@sheffield.ac.uk

Academic Secretary: Bethany Walker
Tel: +44 (0)114 22 22262
Email: b.walker@sheffield.ac.uk



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.

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.
Current Projects
  • 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’
  • Medical Research Council Proximity to Discovery (MRC P2D). Development of a novel biomarker for dementia diagnosis based on quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG). 2015-2016. (£4,988)
  • 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
Key Publications

Conversational assessment in memory clinic encounters: interactional profiling for the differential diagnosis of dementia and functional memory disorder. Danielle Jones, Chris Elsey, Daniel Blackburn, Sarah Wakefield, Kirtsy Harkness, Annalena Venneri, Paul Drew, Markus Reuber. Ageing and Mental Health. 2015 1-10.

Increased Uptake of HIV Testing in Acute Neurology Admissions Using Staged Practical Interventions Dilraj Singh Sokhi, Dr. Chantal Oxenham, Dr. Rebecca Coates1, Dr. Mhairi Forbes, Nadi Gupta and Daniel Blackburn. PLOS One. 2015, 10(9), e0134574.

Towards a diagnostic conversational profile of dementia within memory clinics. Chris Elsey, Paul Drew, Danielle Jones, Daniel Blackburn & Markus Reuber. Patient Educ Couns. 2015, 98(9), 1071-7.
Lysosomal and phagocytic activity is increased in astrocytes during disease progression in the SOD1G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. David J. Baker, Daniel J. Blackburn, Marcus Keatinge, Dilraj Sokhi, Paulius Viskaitis, Paul R. Heath, Laura Ferraiuolo, Janine Kirby and Pamela J. Shaw. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 2015, 9:410. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2015.00410.

Functional (Psychogenic) Cognitive Disorders. A Perspective from the neurology clinic. Jon Stone , Suvankar Pal, Daniel Blackburn, Markus Reuber, Parvez Thekkumpurath, Alan Carson. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2015, 48 sup1, s5-s17.

Baseline characteristics, analysis plan and report on feasibility for the Prevention Of Decline in Cognition After Stroke Trial (PODCAST). Polly Scutt, Daniel Blackburn, Sprigg, Alistair Burns, John Reckless, Joanna M Wardlaw, Philip M Bath. Trials. 2015, 16: 509 doi:10.1186/s13063-015-1033-2

Journeying through Dementia, a community-based self-management intervention for people aged 65 years and over: a feasibility study to inform a future trial. Kirsty Sprange, Gail A. Mountain, Katy Shortland, Claire Craig, Daniel Blackburn, Peter Bowie, Kirsty Harkness and Maggie Spencer. Pilot and Feasibility Studies. 2015. 1:42 DOI 10.1186/s40814-015-003

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. Blackburn, D.J., et al., Trials, 2013. 14: p. 401.

Cognitive screening in the acute stroke setting. Blackburn, D.J, Bahfeidhal L, Randall, M, Harkness K. Age Ageing. 42(1): p. 113-6.

A comparison of in vitro properties of resting SOD1 transgenic microglia reveals evidence of reduced neuroprotective function. Sargsyan, S.A., Blackburn, D. J, Barber, S. C, Grosskreutz, J. De Vos, K. J. Monk, P. N., Shaw, P. J. BMC Neurosci, 2011. 12: p. 91.

Astrocyte Function and Role in Motor Neuron Disease: A Future Therapeutic Target? D. Blackburn, Siranush Sarsyan, Peter Monk and Pam Shaw. Glia, 57 (12), 1251-64, 2009.

Mutant SOD1 G93A microglia have an inflammatory phenotype and elevated production of MCP-1. Sargsyan, S.A., Blackburn D.J, Barber, S. C., Monk, P. N. Shaw, P. J. Neuroreport, 2009. 20(16): p. 1450-5.