Prof Alan J Thompson

Prof Alan J ThompsonTel: 020 3448 3419
Fax: 020 3448 3711

National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery


Professional background

Professor Alan Thompson is a Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), Queen Square.  His specialty is multiple sclerosis (MS), and he currently runs an MS service offering specialist diagnostic, relapse, and rehabilitation clinics.

Alan Thompson is Dean of the Faculty of Brain Sciences at University College London, Garfield Weston Professor of Clinical Neurology and Neurorehabilitation at the UCL Institute of Neurology, Chair of the Neuroscience Programme at the UCL Partners Academic Health Science Centre, and an NIHR Senior Investigator Emeritus.  He studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin and trained in neurology at St Vincent’s/Adelaide Hospital, Dublin, The Royal London Hospital, and in neurology and neurorehabilitation at NHNN in Queen Square, London.  He holds an honorary doctorate from Hasselt University, Belgium, for his work in neurorehabilitation.  He established the neurorehabilitation service at NHNN, and was NHNN Clinical Director from 2003 to 2007.

Professor Thompson’s research focuses on understanding the pathological mechanisms that result in neurological disability and recovery using structural and functional imaging, developing scientifically sound outcome measures that incorporate the patient’s perspective, and has carried out trials of interventions in MS, neurological rehabilitation, and symptom management.  He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals in these areas.  Currently he chairs the Scientific Advisory Committee of the PMSA (International Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Alliance) which is coordinating research into the causes of and possible therapies for progressive forms of the disease.

Research interests

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Progressive multiple sclerosis
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Demyelinating disease


Selected publications

A full list of publications is available on request.

  1. Lublin FD, Reingold SC, Cohen JA, Cutter GR, Soelberg Sørensen P, Thompson AJ, et al. Defining the clinical course of multiple sclerosis. Neurology 2014;83:278-286. Journal Impact Factor: 352
  2. Freund P, Weiskopf N, Ashburner J, Wolf K, Sutter R, Altmann DR, Friston K, Thompson A, Curt A. MRI investigation of the sensorimotor cortex and corticospinal tract after acute spinal cord injury: a prospective longitudinal study. Lancet Neurology 2013;12(9):873-881. (Accompanied by editorial comment, Cadotte/Fehlings). Journal Impact Factor: 896
  3. Ciccarelli O, Thomas D, De Vita E, Wheeler-Kingshott CAM, Kachramanoglou C, Kapoor R, Leary S, Matthews L, Palace J, Chard D, Miller D, Toosy A, Thompson A. Low myo-inositol indicating astrocytic damage in a case series of NMO. Annals of Neurology 2013; 74(2):301-305. Journal Impact Factor: 9.977
  4. Connick P, Kolappan M, Crawley C, Webber DJ, Patani R, Michell AW, Du M-Q, Luan S-L, Altmann DR, Thompson AJ, Compston A, Scott MA, Miller DH, Chandran S. Autologous mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis: an open-label phase 2a proof-of-concept study. Lancet Neurology 2012; 11:150-156. Journal Impact Factor: 21.896
  5. Freund P, Weiskopf N, Ward NS, Hutton C, Gall A, Ciccarelli O, Craggs M, Friston K, Thompson AJ. Disability, atrophy and cortical reorganization following spinal cord injury. Brain 2011; 134:1610-1622. Journal Impact Factor: 196
  6. Polman CH, Reingold SC, Banwell B, (…) Thompson AJ, (…) Wolinsky JS. Diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis: 2010 revisions to the McDonald Criteria. Annals of Neurology 2011; 69:292-302. Journal Impact Factor: 977
  7. Jenkins TM, Toosy AT, Ciccarelli O, Miszkiel KA, Wheeler-Kingshott CA, Henderson AP, Kallis C, Mancini L, Plant GT, Miller DH, Thompson AJ. Neuroplasticity predicts outcome of optic neuritis independent of tissue damage. Annals of Neurology 2010;67:99-113. Journal Impact Factor: 977
  8. Khaleeli Z, Ciccarelli O, Manfredonia F, Barkhof F, Brochet B, Cercignani M, Dousset V, Filippi M, Montalban X, Polman C, Rovaris M, Rovira A, Sastre-Garriga J, Vellinga M, Miller D, Thompson A. Predicting progression in primary progressive multiple sclerosis: a 10-year multicenter study. Annals of Neurology 2008:63:790-793. Journal Impact Factor: 977
  9. Ciccarelli O, Wheeler-Kingshott CA, McLean MA, Cercignani M, Wimpey K, Miller DH, Thompson AJ. Spinal cord spectroscopy and diffusion-based tractography to assess acute disability in multiple sclerosis. Brain 2007; 130:2220-2231. Journal Impact Factor: 196
  10. Toosy AT, Hickman SJ, Miszkiel KA, Jones SJ, Plant GT, Altmann DR, Barker GJ, Miller DH, Thompson AJ. Adaptive cortical plasticity in higher visual areas after acute optic neuritis. Annals of Neurology 2005;57:622-633. Journal Impact Factor: 977
  11. Hobart JC, Lamping DL, Fitzpatrick R, Riazi A, Thompson AJ. The Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29): a new patient-based outcome measure. Brain 2001;124:962-973. Journal Impact Factor 9.196
  12. Hobart JC, Cano SJ, Zajicek JP, Thompson AJ. Rating scales as outcome measures for clinical trials in neurology: problems, solutions and recommendations. Lancet Neurology 2007;6:1094-105. Journal Impact Factor: 896

GMC/GDC number: 3112036