UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Neurorehabilitation Group


(a) Sagittal PD (b) spinal cord at baseline, (c) 1-year follow-up reduction in SC-CSA in subject with PPMS*

Retraining the brain to regain functional movement and cognitive processes after neurological damage and to compensate for loss.


Professor Alan Thompson FMedSci, FRCP, FRCPI

Collaborative Group:

Research Goals

  • To understand the mechanisms of disability and recovery, particularly in progressive neurological disorders.
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of neurorehabilitation and the use of outcome measures.
  • To assess and improve symptomatic management of neurological disorders.
  • To develop collaborations between allied health professionals, recognizing the multi-faceted needs of the patient along the neurorehabilitative pathway.

Funded Research Projects

  • External insults to the nervous system. Funded by the German Aerospace Center for Health Research – ERA-NET NEURON
  • £3.84 million for Health Technology Assessment Programme MS-STAT2: A phase 3 randomised, double blind,  clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of repurposed simvastatin compared to placebo in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, in slowing the progression of disability. Co-applicant. (Chief Investigator: Jeremy Chataway).   HTA 15/57/143-MS-STAT2.  1/3/2017-31/8/2023.

Recent publications from Neurorehabilitation

Abdel-Mannan O, Cortese R, Wassmer E, Hemingway C, Thompson A, Brownlee W, Ciccarelli O, Hacohen Y. Primary progressive multiple sclerosis presenting under the age of 18 years: fact or fiction? Multiple Sclerosis Journal, online 30th March 2020.

Arrambide G, Iacobaeus E, Amato Mp, Derfuss T, Vukusic S, Hemmer B, Brundin L, Tintore M For The 2018 Ectrims Focused Workshop Group.  Aggressive multiple sclerosis (2): Treatment.  Multiple Sclerosis Journal, in press.

Charalambous T, Clayden JD, Powell E, Prados F, Tur C, Kanber B, Chard D, Ourselin S, Wheeler-Kingshot CAMG, Thompson AJ, Toosy AT. Disrupted principal network organization in multiple sclerosis relates to disability. Scientific Reports 2020; 10(1):3620.

Chung KK, Altmann D, Barkhof F, Miszkiel K, Brex PA, O’Riordan J, Ebner M, Prados F, Cardosa MJ, Vercauteren T, Ourselin S, Thompson A, Ciccarelli O, Chard DT. A 30-year clinical and magnetic resonance imaging observational study of multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndromes. Annals of Neurology 2020; 87(1):63-74.

Cortese R, Tur C, Prados F, Schneider T, Kanber B, Moccia M, Wheeler-Kingshott CAG, Thompson AJ, Barkhof F, Ciccarelli O. Ongoing microstructural changes in the cervical cord underpin disability progression in early primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, online 21st January 2020.

Iacobaeus E, Arrambide G, Amato MP, Derfuss T, Vukusic S, Hemmer B, Tintore M, Brundin L for the 2018 ECTRIMS Focused Workshop Group.  Aggressive multiple sclerosis (1):  Describing and defining the phenotype.  Multiple Sclerosis Journal, in press.

Lublin F, Coetzee T, Thompson AJ on behalf of the International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials in MS.  The 2013 Clinical Course Descriptors for Multiple Sclerosis – A clarification.  Neurology, in press.

Thompson, AJ, Cohen JA, Kim HJ, Geurts J. Editorial Comment. Multiple Sclerosis Journal 2020; 26(2):134.

Tur C, Kanber B, Eshaghi A, Altmann DR, Khaleeli Z, Prados F, Ourselin S, Thompson AJ,  Wheeler-Kingshott CAM, Toosy AT, Ciccarelli O.  Clinical relevance of cortical network dynamics in early primary progressive MS.  Multiple Sclerosis Journal 2020; 26(4): 442-456, online 25th February 2019.  PMID 30799709 DOI: 10.1177/1352458519831400

Tur Gomez C, Eshaghi A, Altmann DR, Jenkins TM, Prados Carrasco F, Grussu F, Charalambous T, Schmidt A, Ourselin S, Clayden JD et al.  Structural cortical network reorganization associated with early conversion to multiple sclerosis.  Scientific Reports 2018 in press  UCL Discovery    

Seif M, Curt A, Thompson AJ, Grabher P, Weiskopf N, Freund P.  Quantitative MRI of rostral spinal cord and brain regions is predictive of functional recovery in acute spinal cord injury.  NeuroImage: Clinical 2018; 20:556-563   UCL Discovery

Eshaghi A, Marinescu RV, Young AL, Firth NC, Prados F, Cardoso MJ, Tur C, De Angelis F, Cawley, Brownlee WJ, Thompson AJ, et al.  Progression of regional grey matter atrophy in multiple sclerosis.  Brain 2018; 141:1665-1677.  

Thompson AJ, Reingold SC, Cohen JA.  Applying the 2017 McDonald diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis.  Reply.  Lancet Neurology 2018; 17(6):499-500.

Cerqueira JJ, Compston DAS, Geraldes R, Rosa MM, Schmierer K, Thompson A, Tinelli M, Palace J. Time matters in multiple sclerosis: can early treatment and long-term follow-up ensure everyone benefits from the latest advances in multiple sclerosis? Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, published online 4th April 2018.

Coetzee T, Thompson AJ. Unified understanding of MS course is required for drug development. Nature Reviews Neurology, published online 12 January 2018.

Compston A, Geraldes R, Schmierer K, Cerqueira JJ, Palace J, Thompson A, Tinelli M, Rosa MM. Time matters in multiple sclerosis: can early treatment and long-term follow-up ensure everyone benefits from the latest advances in multiple sclerosis? Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, in press.

Eshaghi A, Marinescu R-V, Young AL ….. Thompson AJ, Barkhof F, Alexander DC, Ciccarelli O, on behalf of the MAGNIMS study group.
Progression of regional grey matter atrophy in multiple sclerosis. Brain, in press.

Eshaghi A, Prados Carrosco F, Brownlee W…Thompson AJ et al. Deep grey matter volume loss drives disability worsening in multiple sclerosis. Annals of Neurology 2018; 83:210-222.

Huber E, Gergely D, Thompson AJ, Weiskopf N, Mohammadi S, Freund P. Dorsal and ventral horn atrophy is associated with clinical outcome after spinal cord injury. Neurology 2018; 90:e1510-e1522.

Montalban X, Gold R, Thompson AJ. ECTRIMS/EAN Guideline on the pharmacological treatment of people with multiple sclerosis. European Journal of Neurology 2018; 25:215-237.

Thompson AJ, Banwell BL, Barkhoff F…Cohen J. Diagnosis of multiple sclerosis: 2017 revisions of the McDonald criteria. Lancet Neurology 2018; 17:162-173.

Thompson AJ, Baranzini SE, Geurts J, Hemmer B, Ciccarelli O. Multiple Sclerosis. Seminar. The Lancet, 2018; 391:1622-1636.

Tur C, Moccia M, Barkhof F, Chataway J, Sastre-Garriga J, Thompson A, Ciccarelli O. Assessing treatment outcomes in multiple sclerosis trials and the clinical setting. Nature Reviews Neurology 2018; 14(2):75-93.

Ziegler G, Grabher P, Thompson A ….. Freund P. Progressive neurodegeneration following spinal cord injury: implications for clinical trials. Neurology 2018; 90-14:e1257-e1266.

Tur Gomez C, Moccia M, Barkhof F, Chataway J, Sastre-Garriga J, Thompson AJ, Ciccarelli O.  Assessing treatment outcomes in multiple sclerosis trials and the clinical setting. Nature Reviews Neurology, online 12 December 2017.

Eshaghi A, Prados Carrasco F, Brownlee W, Altmann DR, Tur Gomez C, Cardoso MJ, de Angelis F, van de Pavert SH, Cawley N, de Stefano N et al.  Deep grey matter volume loss drives disability worsening in multiple sclerosis.  Annals of Neurology, online 30 November 2017.

Miller DH, Thompson AJ.  Advancing trial design in progressive multiple sclerosis.  Multiple Sclerosis Journal 2017; 23(12):1571-1572.  DOI:  10.1177/1352458517729767

Motl R, Feinstein A, Sandroff BM, Kwakkel G, Dalgas U, Feinstein A, Heesen C, Feys P, Thompson AJ. The benefits of exercise in patients with multiple sclerosis. Lancet Neurology, accepted for publication.

Scolding NJ, Pasquini M, Reingold SC, Cohen JA, on behalf of the International Conference on Cell-Based Therapies for Multiple Sclerosis. Cell-based therapeutic strategies for multiple sclerosis. A review article. Brain 2017;140(11):2776-2796.  DOI:  10.1093/brain/awx154

Ontaneda D, Thompson AJ, Fox RJ, Cohen JA. Progressive multiple sclerosis: prospects for disease therapy, repair, and restoration of function. Lancet 2017; 389:1357-1366 

Thompson AJ. Multiple Sclerosis: the upward trajectory continues. Lancet Neurology 2017; 16(1):10-12 doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(16)30343-X.

Thompson AJ. Challenge of progressive multiple sclerosis therapy. Current Opinion in Neurology 2017; 30(3):237-240 doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000453.

Bebo BF, Fox RJ, Lee K, Utz U, Thompson A. Landscape of MS patient cohorts and registries: Recommendations for maximizing impact. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, online 1 March 2017 doi: 10.1177/1352458517698250. [Epub ahead of print]

Cawley N, Tur C, Prados F, Plantone D, Kearney H, Abdel-Aziz K, Ourselin S, Gandini Wheeler-Kingshott CAM, Miller DH, Thompson AJ, Ciccarelli O.Spinal cord atrophy as a primary outcome measure in phase II trials of progressive multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, published online 18th May 2017

Kobelt G, Thompson A, Berg J, Gannedahl M, Eriksson J, and the MSCOI Study Group, and the European MS Platform. New insights into the burden and costs of multiple sclerosis in Europe. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, epub ahead of print, 20 February 2017 doi: 10.1177/1352458517708687.

Otero-Romero S, Sastre-Garriga J, Comi G, Hartung HP, Soelberg Sørensen P, Thompson AJ, Vermersch P, Gold R, Montalban X. Pharmacological management of spasticity in multiple sclerosis: Systematic review and consensus paper. Multiple Sclerosis Journal 2016 Oct;22(11):1386-1396 Epub 2016 May 19.

Freund P, Friston K, Thompson A, Stephan KE, Ashburner J, Bach D, Nagy Z, Helms G, Draganski B, Schwab M, Curt A, Weiskopf N. Embodied neurology: An integrative framework for neurological disorders. Brain 2016; 139(6):1855-1861 doi: 10.1093/brain/aww076. Epub 2016 Apr 21.

Zaratin P, Comi G, Coetzee T, Ramsey K, Smith K, Thompson A, Panzara M. Progressive MS Alliance Industry Forum: maximizing collective impact to enable drug development. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences,  Trends Pharamacol Sci. 2016 Oct;37(10):808-10. doi: 10.1016/j.tips.2016.07.005.

Further information

* Cawley et al. (2017). Spinal cord atrophy as a primary outcome measure in phase II trials of progressive multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler. 2017 May 1:1352458517709954. doi: 10.1177/1352458517709954.