Name: Peter Garrard
Position : Reader in neurology
Research Institute: Cardiovascular & Cell Sciences
Tel: +44(0)208 725 2940
Dementia, cognitive neurology, language, memory.
Dr Peter Garrard took up his current position at St George's in March 2010. In 2007, following six years at UCL, he was offered a senior academic position at the University of Southampton's School of Medicine. Since moving to St George's he has established a specialist service for the assessment, diagnosis and management of people with atypical dementia syndromes. Many of the patients seen in his clinic are recruited into neuroimaging projects aimed at improving diagnosis and monitoring of dementia, understanding the biological basis of progressive cognitive dysfunction (particularly language), and contributing to the development of effective disease modifying treatments.
Dr Garrard's first appointment as a consultant neurologist was at the National Hospital, Queen Square, where he followed up his doctoral research as MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow at the Institute of Neurology. He completed studies on semantic organisation and temporal lobe imaging in patients with semantic dementia (loss of memory for word meaning and concept knowledge).
Peter Garrard's primary research interest is in the early language changes associated with neurodegenerative dementias (such as Alzheimer's diease and frontotemporal dementia), and neuropsychiatric conditions. He is particularly interested in the application of computational neurolinguistic approaches, and in retrospective studies focusing on the emergence of disease signatures in large longitudinal samples (corpus linguistics).
His studies of language change in pre-symptomatic archived samples of writing and speech in creative writing and political discourse have received worldwide media attention and attracted major grant funding awards from the MRC. Notable subjects have included King George III, the novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch, and the politicians Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.
Analysis of a corpus of diary writing spanning the sixth to ninth decades of life, that was donated by individuals with a variety of cognitive histories (including late onset Alzheimer's disease and healthy ageing) is currently in progress.