Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

Dr Jon Stone

Dr Jon Stone is a Consultant Neurologist and Honorary Reader in Neurology, who specialises in functional disorders.

Dr Jon Stone

Consultant Neurologist and Honorary Reader in Neurology

  • Clinical Neurosciences, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences
  • NHS Lothian

Contact details

Biography

  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery – University of Edinburgh
  • Neurology Training – Newcastle and Edinburgh
  • PhD on Functional Limb Weakness, University of Edinburgh (2005)
  • Consultant Neurologist (NHS Lothian) and Honorary Senior Lecturer, Edinburgh (2005-)
  • NRS Career Research Fellow (2012-)
  • Founder of UK-FNS – UK wide research group for functional disorders
  • Advisor to DSM-5 and ICD-11 classification systems
  • Jean Hunter Prize for Nervous Diseases (2014- RCPE), Biemond Prize (2014 – Amsterdam Neurological Society)
  • Founder of www.neurosymptoms.org –self help information for patients with functional disorders - 30,000 hits per month – translated in to 12 languages by neurologists and psychiatrists
  • Plenary lecture invitations to annual global meetings of Movement Disorders Society, American Academy of Neurology and World Federation of Neurology

Research summary

Functional disorders are one of the commonest reason for patients to see a neurologist. They include problems such as Dissociative (non-epileptic) seizures, functional movement disorders (such as tremors, spasms or jerks) and functional limb weakness.

Functional Neurological Disorders (which is sometimes abbreviated to FND) are genuine and often disabling. They relate to a disorder of nervous system functioning but not brain disease. Other terms used to describe these hidden and stigmatised disorders include conversion disorder and psychogenic disorders.

The Edinburgh team carries out clinical research on a wide range of functional disorders, looking at how common they are, why and how they happen and trialling physical and psychological treatments.

Symptoms of functional disorders
Functional dystonia (left) and functional leg weakness (right).

Research aims and areas of interest

  • Clinical Studies of Functional Neurological Disorders including Functional Movement Disorder, Dissociative (Non-Epileptic) Seizures and Functional Urinary Retention
  • Developing and trialling new treatments including internet based treatment, physiotherapy and psychological therapies
  • Investigating the neurological and psychological mechanisms of functional disorders using modalities such as fMRI, MEG and neuropsychological studies
  • Promotion of local and global policies to increase patient information, raise public awareness in the media, reduce stigma, provide better training, service, research and classification structures

Research group members

  • Alan Carson - Group co-leader
  • Laura McWhirter - SpR Neuropsychiatry Research Fellow
  • Jeannette Gelauff - PhD Neurology
  • Ingrid Hoeritzauer - SpR Neurology
  • Stevie Williams - Research worker
  • Lea Ludwig - Post-MSc Neuropsychology

Collaborators

  • Mark Edwards, Senior Lecturer in Neurology Institute of Neurology, LondonFunctional Movement Disorders
  • Glenn Nielsen, Physiotherapist Institute of Neurology, LondonPhysiotherapy for Functional Movement Disorders
  • Marina de Koning-Tijssen, Professor of Neurology, Neurology, GroningenInternet based education for functional movement disorders
  • Laura Goldstein, John Mellers, Markus Reuber, and others (Institute of Psychiatry, Sheffield)CODES trial (cognitive behavioural therapy for dissociative (non-epileptic) seizures)

Sources of funding

  • National Institutes of Health Research (CODES trial)