Petronilla Battista, PhD


We need to improve the awareness and knowledge of the benefits of a coordinated response to care.

Current Work

Petronilla is a neuropsychologist with clinical and research experience in cognitive, language, and communication disorders in patients with primary progressive aphasia (PPA). 

Personal Hero

Roger Schutz

Words of Strength



Petronilla believes we need to improve the awareness and knowledge of the benefits of a coordinated response to care. Dementia care, as well as chronic disease management incorporating a multidisciplinary team, could be supported by the development of appropriate practice guidelines.


Petronilla is focused on the impact of linguistic, social, and cultural factors on the diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia (PPA) to facilitate our predictions about disease susceptibility and outcome. She's also working on delivering programs for older adults with PPA conditions resulting in severe and complex presentations.


Petronilla’s role is to develop new tests for the assessment of complex linguistic and cognitive disorders. The knowledge about human linguistic/cultural aspects will also be useful for her in dealing with the implementation of tailored language treatments through advanced therapeutic technologies.


Many older adults do not receive an early diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia (PPA) or adequate care due to the great skepticism about the potential benefit offered by non-pharmacological interventions. People with PPA aren’t usually referred to speech-language or neuropsychological services.

Education & Experience

Petronilla completed her doctorate in cognitive neuroscience at the Institute of Advanced Studies of Pavia (2014–2017). She carried out clinical and research activities at the Maugeri Clinical-Scientific Institute of Bari, Italy. She has been a visiting scholar at the NARU – University of Manchester and a junior research fellow at the IBFM-National Research Council, Milan. Here, she improved her skills in the identification of early biomarkers for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) using artificial intelligence methods. She has been a research fellow at the Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, University of Bari, where she expanded her clinical understanding of AD, frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), and PPA.

Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI)
Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health
Institute of Advanced Studies of Pavia
Cognitive Neuroscience

Awards & Honors

Italian Neuroepidemiology Association
"Giulia Benassi" award for the best scientific contribution from a young person under the age of 35, first author of the work.

Featured Publications