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Professor of Movement Disorder Neurology at Newcastle University and Honorary Consultant Neurologist for Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust. Senior NIHR Investigator and Director of the Clinical Ageing Research Unit, located on the University’s Campus for Ageing and Vitality. Since April 2011 he has been Acting Director of the University’s Institute for Ageing and Health.
Qualified from Oxford University and Newcastle upon Tyne Medical School in 1985. MD was in the functional imaging of parkinsonism. Research interests include dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease and progressive supranuclear palsy.
Royal College of Physicians’ representative on the NICE National Guidelines writing group for Parkinson's disease (2004-2006) and currently a member of Medical Advisory Panels for the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (Europe) Association, Multiple System Atrophy Trust and Parkinson’s UK. Was a member of the Special Interest Committee Task Force of the International Movement Disorder Society for Diagnostic Criteria for Parkinsonian Disorders (2002-3) and the Parkinson’s disease Dementia Task Force (2004-6). Chair of the PD Clinical Study Group of NIHR-DeNDRoN since May 2008 and appointed NIHR-DeNDRoN Associate Director/National Lead for Parkinson’s disease in July 2010. Elected to the International Executive Committee of the Movement Disorder Society in June 2009 and currently Chair of the MDS Congress Scientific Programme Committee.
My research aims to improve the diagnosis and management of Parkinson’s disease, the Lewy body dementias and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). I played a key role in an International Task Force to develop the first set of Diagnostic Criteria for Dementia associated with Parkinson's disease and the International Consortium to define new diagnostic criteria for Dementia with Lewy Bodies. My group is identifying predictors of dementia in Parkinson's disease, supported by a programme grant from Parkinson's UK to identify people with Parkinson's disease at high risk of incident dementia (ICICLE-PD). Recent outputs from this work have highlighted the high burden of non-motor symptoms, and a putative cholinergic basis underpinning impaired gait speed and attention, in early Parkinson’s. More recently, my work has involved the study of apomorphine as a putative anti-amyloid agent (using clinicopathological methods) and ghrelin as a biomarker for cognitive impairment in Parkinson's.
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