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An Avatar Aid in the Memory Clinic (AAA-MC)

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    An Avatar Aid in the Memory Clinic (AAA-MC)



  • Contact name

    Daniel Blackburn

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 6 months, 14 days

  • Research summary

    We and another group in Liverpool have highlighted that neurology-led memory clinics are seeing an increasing number of patients without signs of dementia (Bell et al., 2015; Larner, 2014; Menon & Larner, 2011). It should be possible for patients with Depressive Pseudodemntia (DPD) and Functional Memory Disorder (FMD) to be managed effectively in primary care. Better screening procedures prior to referral to the specialist memory would allow more patients to receive the most appropriate care more quickly. We recently described a novel approach likely to be capable of improving the screening procedure: We identified a number of features in the interactional behaviour of patients with neurodegenerative memory complaints on the one hand and FMD on the other which should improve the differential diagnosis. In this study we want to develop a more highly automated system, which will build on these findings. Researchers elsewhere have used the speech recognition software system Watson from IBM to carry out speech analyses to facilitate the diagnosis of dementia (Konig et al 2015). However, their system was based on the automated analysis of neuropsychological screening tests. Our study will be the first to use the analysis of more complex interactional behaviour (the patient’s responses to an avatar) to complement simple neuropsychological screening tests and achieve greater accuracy of non-expert screening procedures for dementia.

  • REC name

    London - City & East Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    20 Apr 2016

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion