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Movement disorders include different neurological conditions which share abnormalities of motor control.  Under this label are comprised common diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and Functional Neurological Disorders, and rare diseases, such as Dystonia and Tourette’s Syndrome.  Novel advanced treatment options have been recently developed for Movement Disorders which take into account recent knowledge on their mechanisms.  Our large and expanding Motor Control and Movement Disorders group integrates their research into the active clinical service at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Trust, to develop a UK leading centre for understanding and treating these diseases.

Principal investigators: 

  • Professor Mark Edwards

  • Dr Franscesca Morgante

  • Dr Glenn Nielsen

  • Dr Erlick Pereira

  • Dr Anna Sadnicka.

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Functional movement disorders

A researcher help a patient on a treadmill.Functional movement disorders are a common cause of neurological disability, yet little is known about the aetiology and there are few treatment options. Our research team are examining psychophysical and neurobiological mechanisms for FMD, using functional imaging, neurophysiological, and other techniques. We are also leading on a large NIHR funded multicentre randomised controlled trial of a novel physiotherapy intervention for people with FMD.





Parkinson’s disease and dystonia

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disease determining a wide spectrum of motor (tremor, stiffness and slowness and non-motor symptoms. Most of these symptoms arise from a dysfunction within the basal ganglia network. Another disorder associated with basal ganglia dysfunction is Dystonia, which produces involuntary movements and abnormal postures. Our research work is focused on understanding the mechanisms of different non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s using a multimodal approach which integrates neuroimaging and different neurophysiological techniques. Moreover, we conduct our research on defining neural mechanisms for different type of Dystonia with the aim of developed specific treatments. 


An MRI of a brain.Deep brain stimulation (see image of electrode placements) and radiofrequency lesioning for movement disorders and cancer pain and spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain are neurosurgical treatments that enable electrical stimulation and recording in humans.  We use these invasive therapeutic tools to further our understanding of how we integrate sensation with movement, cognition and emotion.  Directly recording from and stimulating the brain and spinal cord enables us to develop closed-loop stimulation that responds to brain signals, decode brain signals for the mind control of movement and stimulate the brain with novel waveforms. Conditions studied include Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, tremor, pain and myelopathy.


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