Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

Physio4FMD - new NIHR trial announced

Jan 2018: Congratulations to Dr Jon Stone & Dr Alan Carson, honorary Readers in the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, who have been awarded a National Institutes of Health Research grant for the Physio4FMD trial.

Physio4FMD is a £1M multicentre randomised controlled trial of specialist physiotherapy for functional motor disorders.  The trial will be led by Glenn Nielsen, a physiotherapist at St George's, University of London. This landmark study plans to provide trial data five times larger than any previous trial in this area.

Functional motor disorders (FMD) are disorders affecting movement, most commonly weakness, walking, balance and shaking. The problem relates to a disturbance in how messages from the brain reach different parts of the body rather than being a neurological disease or damage. The diagnosis is made by a neurologist. The disorder causes high levels of patient distress, and often unemployment and receipt of disability benefits. Long term outcomes are not good and most patients continue to have disabling symptoms. In the past, FMD was considered a psychological problem, however the most recent research shows that, while psychological factors are important for many patients, not everyone with FMD has a psychological problem.

This study will test whether the specialist physiotherapy is better than standard care at reducing disability caused by FMD, in 263 patients , and whether the treatment could save the NHS money.

Related links

Functional disorders research at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

Clinical research and trials at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

Dr Jon Stone Principal Investigator profile

Dr Alan Carson Principal Investigator profile

Jon Stone and Alan Carson awarded President's medal