Sheffield Institute for
Translational Neuroscience

Professor Annalena Venneri

Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Sheffield

Honorary Consultant, Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Trust


Research Interests

Early and differential diagnosis of dementia; evaluation of both pharmacological and non pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer´s disease with neuroimaging techniques; clarifying the premorbid biological, personality and cognitive mechanisms underlying psychotic symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases, lifestyle factors and risk of cognitive decline, structural and functional connectivity patterns in neurodegeneration and utility for differential diagnosis; improving individual diagnosis of Alzheimer neurodegeneration with the aid of machine learning algorithms; early cognitive markers; genetic risk and miRNA dysregulation in sporadic AD.

Current Projects

MRC Confidence in Concept- Pre-clinical development of Cog:LAB for cognitive evaluation in neurological groups.   

Preclinical read out of miRNA dysregulation in sporadic AD 

OCEAN Project- A collaborative EPSRC funded project between neuroscience and engineering bringing together expertise in neuropathology, imaging and clinical neuropsychology to improve imaging protocol to diagnose vascular dementia.   

Semantic memory decline as a marker of the prehippocampal stage of Alzheimer’s disease

Functional connectivity correlates of apathy in Alzheimer’s disease

Network based cognitive stimulation for mild cognitive impairment due to neurological disorders

Vascular load and response to treatment in Alzheimer’s disease

Research Team

Dr Matteo De Marco – Post doctoral research

Andrew Kirby – Server Manager and IT support officer

Riccardo Manca - PhD student

Stefania Pezzoli - PhD student

Jenna LitttleJohn - PhD student

Laura Wright –PhD student

Manmohi Dake - PhD student

Manuel Varela - PhD student

Charlotte Bentham - MSc student

Dr Sarah Jones – STR in Old Age Psychiatry

Dr Simon Bell - ARUK research Fellow & Neurology Registrar

Giuseppe Sarli – Visiting Erasmus medical student

Viviana Di Fede – Visiting Erasmus plus master student


List of publications (2011-2017 only):

Bencini G, Pozzan L, Biundo R, McGeown WJ, Valian V, Venneri A, Semenza C: Language Specific Effects in Alzheimer’s disease: Subject Omission in Italian and English. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 2011, 24, 25-40

Gardini S, Concari L, Pagliara S, Ghetti C, Venneri A, Caffarra P: Visuo-spatial imagery impairment in posterior cortical atrophy: a cognitive and SPECT study. Behavioural Neurology, 2011, 24, 123-132

Venneri A, Shanks MF: Using MRI neuroimaging methods to detect treatment responses in Alzheimer's disease.  Journal of Neurodegenerative Disease Management, 2011, 1, 235-243

Biundo R, Gardini S, Caffarra P, Concari L, Martorana D, Neri TM, Shanks MF, Venneri A: Influence of APOE status on lexical-semantic skills in Mild Cognitive Impairment. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society,2011, 17, 423-430

Venneri A, McGeown WJ, Biundo R, Mion M, Nichelli P, Shanks MF: The neuroanatomical substrate of lexical semantic decline in MCI ApoE ε4 carriers and non carriers, Alzheimer’s Disease and Associated Disorders, 2011, 25, 230-241

Venneri A, Gorgoglione G, Toraci C, Nocetti L, Panzetti P, Nichelli P: Combining neuropsychological and structural neuroimaging indicators of conversion to Alzheimer’s disease in amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment. Current Alzheimer Research, 2011, 8, 789-797

Caffarra P, Gardini S, Zonato F, Concari L, Dieci F, Copelli S, FreedmanM, Andrea Stracciari A, VenneriA: Italian norms for the Freedman version of the Clock Drawing Test. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 2011, 33, 982-988

Venneri A, Semenza C: On the dependency of division on multiplication: Selective loss for conceptual knowledge of multiplication.  Neuropsychologia, 2011, 49, 3629-3635

Rodríguez-Ferreiro J, Cuetos F, Monsalve A, Martínez C, Pérez AJ, Venneri A: Establishing the relationship between cortical atrophy and semantic deficits in Alzheimer's disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment patients through Voxel-Based Morphometry.  Journal of Neurolinguistics, 2012, 25, 139-149

McGeown WJ, Venneri A, Kirsch I, Nocetti L, Roberts K, Foan L, Mazzoni G: Suggested visual hallucination without hypnosis enhances activity in visual areas of the brain.  Consciousness and Cognition, 2012, 21, 100-116

Gardini S, Venneri A: Reduced grey matter in the posterior insula as a structural vulnerability or diathesis to addiction. Brain Research Bulletin, 2012, 87, 205-211

Aimola L, Schindler I, Venneri A: Task- and response related dissociations between neglect in near and far space: A morphometric case study. Behavioural Neurology, 2012, in press, available online, DOI: 10.3233

Venneri A, Pentore R, Cobelli M, Nichelli P, Shanks MF: Translocation of the embodied self without visuospatial neglect. Neuropsychologia, 2012, 50, 973-978

Aimola L, Schindler I, Simone AM, Venneri A: Near and far space neglect: task sensitivity and anatomical substrates. Neuropsychologia, 2012, 50, 1115-1123

Pitteri M, Venneri A, Meneghello F, Priftis K: How to differentiate hemianesthesia from left tactile neglect: A preliminary case report. Behavioural Neurology, 2012, 26, 151-155

Volpato C, Piccione F, Cavinato M, Duzzi D, Shiff S, Foscolo L, Venneri A: Modulation of affective symptoms and resting state activity by brain stimulation in a treatment-resistant case of obsessive–compulsive disorder. Neurocase, 2012, 19, 360-370

Semenza C, Cavinato M, Rigon J, Battel I, Meneghello F, Venneri A: Persistent cortical deafness. A voxel-based morphometry and tractography study. Neuropsychology, 2012, 26, 675-683

Gardini S, Cuetos F, Fasano F, Ferrari Pellegrini F, Marchi M, Venneri A, Caffarra P: Brain structural substrates of semantic memory decline in Mild Cognitive Impairment. Current Alzheimer Research, 10, 2013, 373-389

Mazzoni G, Venneri A, McGeown WJ, Kirsch I: Neuroimaging Resolution of the Altered State Hypothesis. Cortex, 2013, 49, 400-410

Blackburn DJ, Shanks MF, Harkness KA, Reuber M, Venneri A: Response to Too Much Medicine. Political drive to screen for pre-dementia: not evidence based and ignores the harms of diagnosis. British Medical Journal, 2013,

Forbes-McKay KE, Shanks MF, Venneri A: Profiling spontaneous speech decline in Alzheimer’s disease: a longitudinal study. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 25, 320-327, 2013

Venneri A, Shanks MF: The central effects of ChEI treatment in Alzheimer’s disease: some insights from advanced Neuroimaging. Imaging in Medicine, 5, 441-452, 2013

Turolla A, Daud Albasini OA, Oboe R, Agostini M, Tonin P, Paolucci S, Sandrini G, Venneri A, Piron L: Haptic-based neurorehabilitation in poststroke patients: a feasibility prospective multicentre trial for robotics hand rehabilitation. Comput Math Methods Med. 2013;2013:895492

Venneri A, Shanks MF: The central effects of ChEI treatment in Alzheimer’s disease: some insights from advanced Neuroimaging. Imaging in Medicine, 5, 441-452, 2013

Feinberg TE, Venneri A: Somatoparaphrenia: evolving theories and concepts. Cortex, 2014, 61, 74-80

Blackburn DJ, Wakefield SJ, Shanks MF, Harkness K, Reuber M, Venneri A: Memory difficulties are not always a sign of incipient dementia: a review of the possible causes of loss of memory efficiency. British Medical Bulletin, 2014, 112, 71-81

Cagnin A, Formentin C, Pompanin S, Zarantonello G, Jelcic N, Venneri A, Ermani M: Simple motor stereotypies are not specific features of behavioural frontotemporal dementia. Journal of Neurology, Neurosuregery and Psychiatry, 2014, 85, 945-946

Di Marco LY, Marzo A, Muñoz-Ruiz M, M. Ikram A, Kivipelto M, Ruefenacht D, Venneri A, Soinnen H, Wanke I, Ventikos YA, Frangi AF: Modifiable lifestyle factors in dementia: a systematic review of longitudinal observational cohort studies. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2014, 42, 119-135

De Marco M, Shanks MF, Venneri A. Cognitive Stimulation: the evidence base for its application in neurodegenerative disease. Current Alzheimer Research, 2014, 11, 469-483

Wakefield SJ, McGeown WJ, Shanks MF, Venneri A: Differentiating Normal from Pathological Brain Ageing Using Standard Neuropsychological Tests. Current Alzheimer Research, 2014, 11, 765-772

Shanks MF, McGeown WJ, Guerrini C, Venneri A: Awareness and Confabulation, Neuropsychology, 2014, 28, 406-414

Forbes-McKay KE, Shanks MF, Venneri A: Charting the decline in spontaneous writing in Alzheimer's Disease: A longitudinal study. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 2014, 26, 246-252

Di Marco LY, Venneri A, Farkas E, Evans PC, Marzo A, Frangi AF. Vascular dysfunction in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease--A review of endothelium-mediated mechanisms and ensuing vicious circles. Neurobiol Dis. 2015 Oct;82:593-606.

Beltrachini L, De Marco M, Taylor ZA, Lotjonen J, Frangi AF, Venneri A. Integration of Cognitive Tests and Resting State fMRI for the Individual Identification of Mild Cognitive Impairment. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2015;12(6):592-603.

Benavides-Varela S, Burgio F, Meneghello F, De Marco M, Arcara G, Rigon J, Pilosio C, Butterworth B, Venneri A, Semenza C. Anatomical substrates and neurocognitive predictors of daily numerical abilities in mild cognitive impairment. Cortex. 2015 Oct;71:58-67.

Alzahrani H, Venneri A. Cognitive and neuroanatomical correlates of neuropsychiatric symptoms in Parkinson's disease: A systematic review. J Neurol Sci. 2015 Sep 15;356(1-2):32-44.

De Marco M, Merico A, Berta G, Segato N, Citton V, Baglione A, Venneri A. Morphometric correlates of dysarthric deficit in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2015;16(7-8):464-72.

Elsey C, Drew P, Jones D, Blackburn D, Wakefield S, Harkness K, Venneri A, Reuber M. Towards diagnostic conversational profiles of patients presenting with dementia or functional memory disorders to memory clinics. Patient Educ Couns. 2015 Sep;98(9):1071-7.

De Marco M, Venneri A. 'O' blood type is associated with larger grey-matter volumes in the cerebellum. Brain Res Bull. 2015 Jul;116:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2015.05.005.

Mitolo M, Venneri A, Wilkinson ID, Sharrack B. Cognitive rehabilitation in multiple sclerosis: A systematic review. J Neurol Sci. 2015 Jul 15;354(1-2):1-9.

Mitolo M, Gardini S, Caffarra P, Ronconi L, Venneri A, Pazzaglia F. Relationship between spatial ability, visuospatial working memory and self-assessed spatial orientation ability: a study in older adults. Cogn Process. 2015 May;16(2):165-176.

Di Marco LY, Farkas E, Martin C, Venneri A, Frangi AF. Is Vasomotion in Cerebral Arteries Impaired in Alzheimer's Disease? J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;46(1):35-53.

Agostini M, Moja L, Banzi R, Pistotti V, Tonin P, Venneri A, Turolla A. Telerehabilitation and recovery of motor function: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Telemed Telecare. 2015 Jun;21(4):202-13.

McGeown WJ, Mazzoni G, Vannucci M, Venneri A. Structural and functional correlates of hypnotic depth and suggestibility. Psychiatry Res. 2015 Feb 28;231(2):151-9.

Gardini S, Venneri A, Sambataro F, Cuetos F, Fasano F, Marchi M, Crisi G, Caffarra P. Increased functional connectivity in the default mode network in mild cognitive impairment: a maladaptive compensatory mechanism associated with poor semantic memory performance. J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;45(2):457-70.

Kiper P, Szczudlik A, Venneri A, Stozek J, Luque-Moreno C, Opara J, Baba A, Agostini M, Turolla A. Computational models and motor learning paradigms: Could they provide insights for neuroplasticity after stroke? An overview. J Neurol Sci. 2016 Oct 15;369:141-148.

Alzahrani H, Antonini A, Venneri A. Apathy in Mild Parkinson's Disease: Neuropsychological and Neuroimaging Evidence. J Parkinsons Dis. 2016 Oct 19;6(4):821-832

Gardini S, Venneri A, McGeown WJ, Toraci C, Nocetti L, Porro CA, Caffarra P. Brain Activation Patterns Characterizing Different Phases of Motor Action: Execution, Choice and Ideation. Brain Topogr. 2016 Sep;29(5):679-92.

De Marco M, Meneghello F, Duzzi D, Rigon J, Pilosio C, Venneri A. Cognitive stimulation of the default-mode network modulates functional connectivity in healthy aging. Brain Res Bull. 2016 Mar;121:26-41.

Venneri A, Mitolo M, De Marco M. Paradigm shift: semantic memory decline as a biomarker of preclinical Alzheimer's disease. Biomark Med. 2016;10(1):5-8.

Bellucci A, Mercuri NB, Venneri A, Faustini G, Longhena F, Pizzi M, Missale C, Spano P. Parkinson's disease: from synaptic loss to connectome dysfunction. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2016 Feb;42(1):77-94.

Venneri A, Mitolo M, De Marco M. The network substrate of confabulatory tendencies in Alzheimer's disease. Cortex. 2017 Feb;87:69-79.

Mirheidari B, Blackburn D, Harkness K, Walker T, Venneri A, Reuber M, Christensen H. Toward the Automation of Diagnostic Conversation Analysis in Patients with Memory Complaints. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;58:373-387

De Marco M, Duzzi D, Meneghello F, Venneri A. Cognitive Efficiency in Alzheimer's Disease is Associated with Increased Occipital Connectivity. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;57:541-556.

De Marco M, Vallelunga A, Meneghello F, Varma S, Frangi A, Venneri A. Alzheimer`s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. ApoE ε4 allele relateted alterations in hippocampal connectivity in early Alzheimer's disease support memory performance. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2017 Feb 6. doi: 10.2174/1567205014666170206113528. [Epub ahead of print]

Pezzoli S, Cagnin A, Bandmann O, Venneri A. Structural and Functional Neuroimaging of Visual Hallucinations in Lewy Body Disease: A Systematic Literature Review. Brain Sci. 2017 Jul 15;7(7). pii: E84. doi: 10.3390/brainsci7070084

Wakefield SJ, Blackburn DJ, Harkness K, Khan A, Reuber M, Venneri A. Distinctive neuropsychological profiles differentiate patients with functional memory disorder from patients with amnestic-mild cognitive impairment. Acta Neuropsychiatr. 2017 Jul 17:1-7. doi: 10.1017/neu.2017.21. [Epub ahead of print]

De Marco M, Manca R, Mitolo M, Venneri A. White matter hyperintensity load modulates brain morphometry and brain connectivity in healthy adults: A neuroplastic mechanism? Neural Plasticity, 2017

Guo L, Vardakis JC, Lassila T, Mitolo M, Ravikumar N, Chou D, Lange M, Sarrami-Foroushani A, Tully BT, Taylor ZA, Varma A, Venneri A, Frangi AF, Ventikos Y. Subject-specific multiporoelastic model for exploring the risk factors associated with the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Interface Focus. 2017 in press ISSN 2042-8898

De Marco M, Beltrachini L, Biancardi A, Frangi AF, Venneri A. Machine-learning Support to Individual Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment Using Multimodal MRI and Cognitive Assessments. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2017 doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000208

Lassila T, Di Marco LY, Mitolo M, Iaia V, Levedianos G, Venneri A, Frangi AF. Screening for Cognitive Impairment by Model Assisted Cerebral Blood Flow Estimation. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2017 Oct 5. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2017.2759511. [Epub ahead of print]

Fasano F, Mitolo M, Gardini S, Venneri A, Caffarra P, Pazzaglia F. Combining structural magnetic resonance imaging and Visuospatial tests to classify Mild Cognitive Impairment. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2017 Oct 30. doi: 10.2174/1567205014666171030112339. [Epub ahead of print]


Professional Activities

H Index:

Scopus 32, Scholar 39

Advisory and editorial activity

ARUK Yourkshire Network coordinator

Scientific Advisory Board SINDEM

Acting editor: Biomed Research International (Geriatrics)

In editorial board of: Medical Science Monitor,  Psicologica, The Open Neuroimaging Journal, and the Journal of Chinese Clinical Medicine, Americal Journal of Neurodegenerative Disease, Advances in Medicine (Geriatrics), Current Alzheimer Research, Journal of Alzheimer Disease

Acting as expert reviewer for a range of international journals and funding agencies: ESRC, MRC, Wellcome Trust, Oxford University Press, Scottish Chief Scientist Office, Swiss National Science Foundation, Israel Science Foundation, Department of Health for England, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (Canada), Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (The Netherlands), Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, University and Research (Italy), Ontario Mental Health Foundation, Republic of Ireland Health Research Review Board. 


Current position:

April 2011-present: Full Professor, Department of Neuroscience, University of Sheffield, UK

May 2011-present Honorary Consultant, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield, UK

Education and academic qualification:

1979-1985: Medical School at the University of Modena, Italy.

1985-1990: Psychology School (Clinical Psychology) at the University of Padua, Italy.

1990-1991: Post-graduate Course in Clinical Neuropsychology and Psychophysiology at the University of Padua, Italy.

1994-1999: PhD (PT), University of Aberdeen, UK.

Teaching Interests

Teaching to master students (MSc in Clinical Neurology and in Translation Neuroscience) and undergraduate medical students. 

Contact Details

Department of Neuroscience
University of Sheffield
Royal Hallamshire Hospital
N floor, room N130
Glossop Road
S10 2JF

T: +44 (0) 114 271 3430
F: +44 (0) 114 271 3158

Academic Secretary:
Bethany Walker
T: +44 (0)114 22 22262

Clinical Secretary:
Susan Ryalls
T: + 44 (0)114 2713770