Project Details

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Carlo De Lillo

Project area or title

Refinement and validation of a new computerised tool for the culture-fair screening for early signs Alzheimer’s disease


It is crucial to distinguish Alzheimer’s disease (AD) from functional cognitive disorders (FCD), which initially produce similar cognitive symptoms but rarely lead to progressive severe forms of cognitive impairment. Family practitioners and memory services consultants face daily the problem of making speedy decisions concerning people who should be referred for AD diagnosis and especially people from ethnic minorities (EM), who require interpreters and translations of verbal tests.
This project will: (I) Refine a new screening tool for a culture-fair cognitive assessment in EM people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds that can help improve the pathway to accurate and streamlined screening of AD in EM, focusing on South Asians living in Leicestershire. (II) Validate the above tool against clinical diagnosis of AD and FCD in older and younger people from White British and EM backgrounds. (III) Evaluate convergent validity of the tool with existing cognitive assessment tools.
The tool is a simple game requiring touching shapes on a tablet to find hidden rewards and can be presented online. It requires minimal instructions and it has been considered engaging and appropriate by carers of people with dementia from both White British and EM backgrounds who have been involved in its evaluation and development. Despite its simplicity the tool provides several measures of mental functions which are likely to differentiate AD from FCD, and control participants regardless of their ethnicity.
The student will gain expertise in: development of screening/diagnostic tools; administration of psychometric tests; advanced statistical analyses.




University of Leicester

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