Psycholinguistic properties of language that survive into frontotemporal dementia: A case study

The purpose of the study is to understand the properties of language that are retained into dementia. The study is part of a Dementia Collaborative Research Centre Research Fellowship, awarded to the main applicant Dr Joanna Brooks, for the exploration of strategies and methods to reduce and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The main research question is: What properties of words predict survival into FTD? We are planning to conduct a longitudinal analysis to explore the psycholinguistic properties of written language present 10-12 years prior to the onset of FTS symptoms, immediately prior to diagnosis, and post diagnosis. The hypothesis is that certain psycholinguistic properties will survive into dementia more than others like ‘age-of-acquisition’ – early acquired words will survive longer than late acquired words.


Peter Garrard (St George’s Hospital London)