Sheffield Institute for
Translational Neuroscience

Professor Annalena Venneri

Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Sheffield

Scientific Director, IRCCS San Camillo, Venice, Italy


Research Interests

My main research interests as lead of the Translational Neuropsychology group are in early and differential diagnosis of dementia, in the evaluation of both pharmacological and non pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer´s disease with neuroimaging techniques, and in clarifying the premorbid biological, personality and cognitive mechanisms underlying psychotic symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases.

Translational Neuropsychology Group

The Translational Neuropsychology group conducts research on the neuroscientific, clinical and behavioural aspects of neurodegenerative and neurological disorders. While there is a main focus on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, we also study other disorders such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and multiple sclerosis. The group is led by Professor Annalena Venneri whose research interests include:

  • Early and differential diagnosis of dementia
  • Evaluation of 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

The group also conducts research in a variety of areas including:

  • Neuropsychological tests predicting conversion from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer’s Disease and response to treatment in Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cross-cultural assessment of dementia
  • Cognitive and physical stimulation, genetic risk and cognitive decline
  • Neurobiological correlates of neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease
  • Cross-cultural standardisation and validation of norms of neuropsychological tests used in the early identification of dementia of Alzheimer type in British Pakistanis
  • Identifying the biological determinants of cognitive efficiency in ageing
  • Biological correlates of cognitive impairment associated with fatigue in ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
  • Clinical and neuroimaging approach to the evaluation of the effectiveness of virtual reality interventions for upper limb recovery following stroke
  • Identifying deficits in executive and automatic language in Alzheimer’s disease
  • Intensive cognitive stimulation in cognitive decline
  • Procedural skills in cognition and ageing
  • Refining dementia screening tool

 

Current Projects

  • Interactions between genetic variables and cognitive stimulation in ageing and Alzheimer´s disease
  • Testing the validity of cognitive endophenotypes of Alzheimer´s disease
  • Cross-cultural assessment of dementia
  • Predicting response to treatment in Alzheimer's disease
  • Personality predictors of psychosis in neurodegenerative diseases
  • Biological correlates of cognitive impairment associated with fatigue in ME/CFS

Current grants

  • 2013-2017: FP7 EU funding: Virtual physiological human: dementia research enabled by IT2012-2015: NIHR RfPB, Using Conversation Analysis in the Differential Diagnosis of Memory Problems: a pilot study
  • 2012-2015: Italian Ministry of Health, Cognitive efficiency and functional connectivity across the lifespan. Is there a signature of abnormal cognitive decline?
  • 2012-2013: Action for ME, Uncovering the biological correlates of cognitive impairment associated with fatigue in ME/CFS: a pilot study of cognition and functional connectivity pre and post-exertional malaise 
  • 2012-2013: ARUK, Cross-cultural assessment of Dementia

Current research collaborations

  • University of Sheffield: Professor Markus Reuber, Dr. Dan Blackburn, Professor Iain Wilkinson, Professor Alejandro Frangi Dr. Michael Shanks
  • University of Strathclyde, Dr. William McGeown
  • University of Hull, Professors Irving Kirsch and Giuliana Mazzoni, Peter J Clough, Dr. Adam Nicholls
  • The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Dr. Katrina E Forbes-McKay
  • University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, Professor Paolo Nichelli
  • University of Parma, Italy, Dr. Paolo Caffarra, Dr. Simona Gardini
  • University of Milan Bicocca, Italy, Professor Costanza Papagno
  • University of Padua, Italy, Professor Carlo Semenza, Dr. Annachiara Cagnin
  • IRCSS Fondazione Ospedale San Camillo, Venice, Italy, Dr. Paolo Tonin, Dr. Francesca Meneghello
  • Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, Professor Adrian Ivanoiu
  • University of Oviedo, Spain, Professor Fernando Cuetos
  • York University, Toronto, Canada Professor Vinod Goel
  • Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, Professor Mario Liotti
  • Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, USA Professor Todd Feinberg
  • Washington University, St Louis, USA, Professor Claude Robert Cloninger

Research Team

Research / Clinical Staff

P1080986cropped.jpg

  • Matteo De Marco
  • Hamad Alzahrani
  • Baber Malik

PhD Students

  • Caroline Carta
  • Baber Malik
  • Andrea Turolla
  • Zahra Zahid
  • Jenna Littlejohn


The Translational Neuropsychology Group at Prof Annalena Venneri's

inaugural lecture May 2014 at the Sheffield Life Festival

Publications

Key Publications

Cognitive stimulation: the evidence base for its application in neurodegenerative disease. De Marco M, Shanks MF, Venneri A.
Curr Alzheimer Res. 2014;11(5):469-83.

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, 2010

Feinberg TE, Venneri A, Simone AM, Fan Y, Northoff G: The neuroanatomy of asomatognosia and somatoparaphrenia.
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 2010, 81: 276-281

Venneri A, McGeown WJ, Shanks MF. Responders to ChEI treatment of Alzheimer´s disease show restitution of normal regional cortical activation. Current Alzheimer Research, 2009, 6, 97-111

Gardini S, Cloninger CR, Venneri A: Individual differences in personality traits reflect structural variance in specific brain regions.
Brain Research Bulletin, 2009, 79, 265-270

Bruen PD, McGeown WJ, Shanks MF, Venneri A. Neuroanatomical correlates of neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer´s disease.
Brain, 2008, 131, 2455-2463

Venneri A, McGeown WJ; Hietanen HM, Guerrini C, Ellis AW, Shanks MF. The anatomical bases of semantic retrieval deficits in early Alzheimer's Disease. Neuropsychologia, 2008, 46, 497-510

Recent Publications

IX Congresso Sindem: Italian Association for the study of Dementia linked to the Italian Neurological Society (SIN). Bonavita V, Padovani A, Bruni A, Pantoni L, Caltagirone C, Parnetti L, Clerici F, Perani D, Di Luca M, Sorbi S, Forloni G, Tagliavini F, Frisoni G, Tempini MG, Mariani C, Venneri A, Musicco M. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014 Jan 1;41(0):S1-S68. doi: 10.3233/JAD-149999.

Cognitive stimulation: the evidence base for its application in neurodegenerative disease. De Marco M, Shanks MF, Venneri A. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2014;11(5):469-83.

Modifiable Lifestyle Factors in Dementia: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Observational Cohort Studies. Di Marco LY, Marzo A, Muñoz-Ruiz M, Ikram MA, Kivipelto M, Ruefenacht D, Venneri A, Soinnen H, Wanke I, Ventikos YA, Frangi AF. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014 May 5. [Epub ahead of print]

Simple motor stereotypies are not specific features of behavioural frontotemporal dementia.  Cagnin A, Formentin C, Pompanin S, Zarantonello G, Jelcic N, Venneri A, Ermani M. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2014 Feb 17. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2013-307471. [Epub ahead of print]

Haptic-based neurorehabilitation in poststroke patients: a feasibility prospective multicentre trial for robotics hand rehabilitation. Turolla A, Daud Albasini OA, Oboe R, Agostini M, Tonin P, Paolucci S, Sandrini G, Venneri A, Piron L. Comput Math Methods Med. 2013;2013:895492. doi: 10.1155/2013/895492. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

Awareness and confabulation. Shanks MF, McGeown WJ, Guerrini C, Venneri A. Neuropsychology. 2014 May;28(3):406-14. doi: 10.1037/neu0000031. Epub 2013 Nov 4.

Brain structural substrates of semantic memory decline in mild cognitive impairment. Gardini S, Cuetos F, Fasano F, Pellegrini FF, Marchi M, Venneri A, Caffarra P. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2013 May 1;10(4):373-89.

Neuroimaging resolution of the altered state hypothesis. Mazzoni G, Venneri A, McGeown WJ, Kirsch I.Cortex. 2013 Feb;49(2):400-10. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2012.08.005. Epub 2012 Sep 6. Review.

Persistent cortical deafness: a voxel-based morphometry and tractography study. Semenza C, Cavinato M, Rigon J, Battel I, Meneghello F, Venneri A. Neuropsychology. 2012 Nov;26(6):675-83. doi: 10.1037/a0029688. Epub 2012 Aug 27.

Task- and response related dissociations between neglect in near and far space: a morphometric case study. Aimola L, Schindler I, Venneri A. Behav Neurol. 2013 Jan

How to differentiate hemianesthesia from left tactile neglect: a preliminary case report. Pitteri M, Venneri A, Meneghello F, Priftis K. Behav Neurol. 2013;26(1-2):151-5. doi: 10.3233/BEN-2012-110225.

Studio delle correlazioni tra sinergie muscolari, volume della lesione cerebrale e indici funzionali, durante l’interazione con un sistema di realtà virtuale (VRRS - EVO 4), in pazienti con ictus. Turolla A, Agostini M, Venneri A, Silvoni S, Zucconi C, Tonin P, Piron L: Giornale Italiano di Medicina Riabilitativa, in press

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

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

The claustrum and Alzheimer’s disease. Venneri A, Shanks MF. In L Eldestein, J. Smythies, V.S. Ramachandran: The Functional Neuroanatomy of the Claustrum. Elsevier, to be published in 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Modulation of affective symptoms and resting state activity by brain stimulation in a treatment-resistant case of obsessive–compulsive disorder. Volpato C, Piccione F, Cavinato M, Duzzi D, Shiff S, Foscolo L, Venneri A. Neurocase, 2012, in press, available online DOI: 10.1080/13554794.2012.667131

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The neuroanatomy of asomatognosia and somatoparaphrenia. Feinberg TE, Venneri A, Simone AM, Fan Y, Northoff G. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 2010, 81: 276-281

The ideation of movement is supported by fronto-temporal cortical regions involved in the retrieval of semantic knowledge. Caffarra P, Gardini S, Vezzadini G, Bromiley A, Venneri A. Acta Biomedica, 2010, 81, 21-29

Established donepezil treatment modulates task relevant regional brain activation in early Alzheimer's disease. McGeown WJ, Shanks MF, Forbes-McKay KE, Waiter GD, Elrick I, Venneri MG, Venneri A. Current Alzheimer Research, 2010, 7, 415, 427

Anosognosia for memory impairment in Alzheimer’s disease. Stewart G, McGeown WJ, Shanks MF, Venneri A. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 2010, 22, 180-187

A neurology of awareness and belief: so near so far? Venneri A, Shanks MF. Neuropsychoanalysis, 2010, 12, 185-189

Effects of cholinesterase inhibition on brain white matter volume in Alzheimer’s disease. Venneri A, Lane R. Neuroreport, 2009, 20, 285-288

Responders to ChEI treatment of Alzheimer’s disease show restitution of normal regional cortical activation. Venneri A, McGeown WJ, Shanks MF. Current Alzheimer Research, 2009, 6, 97-111

Individual differences in personality traits reflect structural variance in specific brain regions. Gardini S, Cloninger CR, Venneri A. Brain Research Bulletin, 2009, 79, 265-270

Decreased drug-cue induced attentional bias in individuals with treated and untreated drug dependence. Gardini S, Caffarra P, Venneri A. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 2009, 21, 179-185

Cognitive and neuronal processes involved in sequential generation of general and specific mental images. Gardini S, Cornoldi C, De Beni R, Venneri A. Psychological Research, 2009, 73, 633-43

Patterns of brain activity during a semantic task differentiate normal aging from early Alzheimer's disease. McGeown WJ, Shanks MF, Forbes-McKay KE, Venneri A:Psychiatry Research. Neuroimaging, 2009, 173, 218-227

Hypnotic induction decreases anterior default mode activity. McGeown, WJ, Mazzoni G, Venneri A, Kirsch I. Consciousness and Cognition, 2009, 18, 848-855

Taratura e validazione di parole cocaina ed eroina-correlate in un campione di individui con storia di dipendenza da droghe. Gardini S, Nocetti L, Toraci C, Zaimovic A, Ciusa F, Antonioni M, Begarani M , Guzzinati L, Gerra G, Venneri A. Giornale Italiano di Psicologia, 2009, 36, 375-398

Recovery from transient global amnesia following restoration of hippocampal and fronto cingulate perfusion. Caffarra P, Concari L, Gardini S, Spaggiari S, Dieci F, Copelli S, Ghetti C, Venneri A: Behavioural Neurology, 2009, 22, 131-139

The anatomical bases of semantic retrieval deficits in early Alzheimer's Disease. Venneri A, McGeown WJ; Hietanen HM, Guerrini C, Ellis AW, Shanks MF. Neuropsychologia, 2008, 46, 497-510

Prolonged cholinergic enrichment influences regional cortical activation in early Alzheimer's disease. McGeown WJ, Shanks MF, Venneri A. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 2008, 4, 465-476

Differential patterns of hypoperfusion in subtypes of mild cognitive impairment. Caffarra P, Ghetti C, Concari L, Venneri A. The Open Neuroimaging Journal, 2008, 2, 20-28

The Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia. Normative data for the Italian population. Anselmetti S, Poletti S, Ermoli E, Bechi M, Cappa S, Venneri A, Smeraldi E, Cavallaro R. Neurological Sciences, 2008, 29, 85-92

Neuroanatomical correlates of neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease. Bruen PD, McGeown WJ, Shanks MF, Venneri A. Brain, 2008, 131, 2455-2463 doi:10.1093/brain/awn151

Alterations to the working memory network in normal ageing and Alzheimer’s disease. McGeown WJ, Venneri A. Alzheimer Disease Research Journal, 2008, 2, 135-154

 

Professional Activities

I am the editor of the Geriatric board of the Journal BioMed Research International, and member of the editorial board of several neuroscience journals.

I coordinate the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory at the S. Camillo Research Hospital in Venice (Italy).

I am an Honorary Consultant for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and DeNDRoN Speciality Group Chair for the South Yorkshire CLRN.

Biography

I joined the University of Sheffield in 2011. I lead the Translational Neuropsychology Group and I am more specifically focused on implementing the dementia research agenda on early and differential diagnosis, and treatment of Alzheimer´s disease.

Current positions:

04/2011 – present:  Full Professor – Department of Neuroscience, Medical School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield (UK)
04/2011 – present:  Honorary Consultant– Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Sheffield (UK)
03/2014 – present:  Scientific Director, IRCCS Fondazione Ospedale San Camillo, Venice, Italy

Previous appointments:

09/2003 - 03/2011:  Full Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Hull (UK)
05/2004 - 03/2011:  Honorary Consultant Research, Humber Mental Health NHS Trust and Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
10/1999 - 08/2003:  Senior Lecturer, Psychology Department, University of Aberdeen (UK)
       1996 - 08/2003:   Honorary Consultant Research, Grampian Primary Care NHS Trust and Grampian University Hospital NHS Trust, UK
03/1994 - 09/1999:  Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Aberdeen

Education and academic qualifications

1999:                PhD, University of Aberdeen, UK.
1990-1991:  Post-graduate degree in Clinical Neuropsychology and Psychophysiology at the University of Padua, Italy.
1985-1990:  Psychology School at the University of Padua, Italy.
1979-1985:  Medical School at the University of Modena, Italy.

 

 

Teaching Interests

My teaching at postgraduate level is in the field of clinical and cognitive neuropsychology and neuroscience.

Contact Details

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

T: +44 (0) 114 271 3430
F: +44 (0) 114 271 3158
E: a.venneri@sheffield.ac.uk

Academic Secretary:
Bev Carter
T: +44 (0)114 22 22295
E: bev.carter@sheffield.ac.uk

Clinical Secretary:
Susan Ryalls
T: + 44 (0)114 2713770
E: susan.ryalls@sth.nhs.uk