Language in Neurodegenerative Disorders

Occurring Dates: 
02/01/2020 to 31/08/2020
Participant Duration: 
Direct recording of participants will take a maximum of 1.5 hours
State of study: 
All States

Neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are a growing problem worldwide. However, we still know relatively little about the language features of different neurodegenerative disorders. This study aims to examine these features with a view to improving the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of clients with these conditions.

The focus of this investigation will be individuals who have conditions other than Alzheimer’s disease as these have been less often examined in research studies. These conditions include:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Lewy body disease
  • Fronto-temporal dementia
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Motor neurone disease
  • Corticobasal degeneration
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Posterior cortical atrophy
  • Alcohol-related brain damage

Participants will be visited in their own homes or at another convenient venue by the principal investigator. Audio-recordings will be made as they engage in conversation and perform simple tasks such as picture description. The recording will last approximately 1.5 hours. All responses and patient data (age, diagnosis, etc.) will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

In order to take part in the study, participants must be able to satisfy the following criteria:

  • Any age (above 18 years) and male or female
  • Be native speakers of English and have intelligible speech (mild speech impairment is not a problem)
  • Have functional vision and hearing (glasses/hearing aids can be worn)
  • Have no previous neurological disorders (e.g. stroke)
  • Have no previous developmental or acquired language disorder 
  • Be able to give informed consent
  • Be willing for anonymised data to be used in publications
  • Be diagnosed by a medical specialist with one of the above conditions
Further Information: 

If you are willing to participate in this investigation, please contact Professor Louise Cummings (Principal Investigator), Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University at email address:

The study has been given full ethical clearance by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, approval number HSEARS20170908001.

Study Address: 
The principal investigator will either visit participants in their own homes or at another convenient location.
Full Name: 
Louise Cummings
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Phone Number: 
Not applicable