Professional background

Dr Nikhil Sharma is a consultant neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queens Square, London PI at the ION, UCL.

He qualified at the University of Liverpool and completed his general medical training at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queens Square, London.

In 2007 he was awarded a PhD by the University of Cambridge for work done with Professor Jean-Claude Baron.

His thesis used motor imagery and functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) to explore neuroplasticity and neurodegeneration in large-scale motor networks (funded by Brain Entry Scholarship, UK Stroke Association & Raymond and Beverly Sackler fellowships).

He completed his clinical training in neurology at Kings College Hospital, Hurstwood Park Neuroscience Centre and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. During this period he spent a number of years as a visiting post-doctoral fellow in Dr Leo Cohen’s laboratory at the National Institute of Health (NIH), Bethesda, USA ( He was awarded the prestigious NRSA fellowship. His work used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) , functional (resting state fMRI) and structural imaging (diffusion tensor imaging) to better understand plasticity of the human motor system.

Research interests

His research ( brings together these skills to develop an innovative approach to better understand diseases of the motor system.

More specifically he combines ‘system-level’ neuroscience with machine learning to develop therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases. The group has a specific focus on the gut microbiome and brain imaging.


On the Use of TMS to Investigate the Pathophysiology of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Vishal Rawji, Anna Latorre, Nikhil Sharma, John C. Rothwell and Lorenzo Rocchi*
Front. Neurol., 03 November 2020 |

Comparison between conventional electrodes and ultrasound monitoring to measure TMS evoked muscle contraction
Isabella Kaczmarczyk, Vishal Rawji, John C. Rothwell, Emma Hodson-Tole, Nikhil Sharma

Interoperability in NHS hospitals must be improved: the Care Quality Commission should be a key actor in this process.
Zhang J, Sood H, Harrison OT, Horner B, Sharma N, Budhdeo S
J R Soc Med. 2020 Jan 6

Short interval intracortical inhibition as measured by TMS-EEG
Vishal Rawji, Isabella Kaczmarczyk, Lorenzo Rocchi, John C. Rothwell, Nikhil Sharma
BioRxiv doi:

TMS-ultrasound: A potential tool for examining MND
Isabella Kaczmarczyk,Emma Hodson-Tole Vishal Rawji, Albert Botter, John C. Rothwell,, Nikhil Sharma
Clinical Neurophysiology
Volume 130, Issue 7, July 2019,

Effects of healthy ageing on activation pattern within the brain during movement and motor imagery: an fMRI study
Sanjay Budhdeo, Jean-Claude Baron, Nikhil Sharma
BioRxiv doi:

Physiotherapist confidence level in mobilising stroke patients after decompressive hemicraniectomy: are helmets useful? Sanjay Budhdeo, Toby Meek, Theodore D Cosco, Sanchit Turaga, Aswin Chari, Nikhil Sharma,
BioRxiv doi:

Skeletal muscle MRI differentiates SBMA and ALS and correlates with disease severity.
Klickovic U, Zampedri L, Sinclair CDJ, Wastling SJ, Trimmel K, Howard RS, Malaspina A, Sharma N, Sidle K, Emira A, Shah S, Yousry TA, Hanna MG, Greensmith L, Morrow JM, Thornton JS, Fratta P.
Neurology. 2019 Aug 7

Further evidence for a non-cortical origin of mirror movements after stroke
Cinzia Calautti, P S Jones, J-Y Guincestre, M Naccarato, MD; Nikhil Sharma, T A Carpenter, Elizabeth Warburton, JC Baron
Brain, Volume 142, Issue 1, January 2019

C9orf72 and intracerebral haemorrhage
Isabel Hostettler Manuel Bernal-Quiros, PhD; Andrew Wong, PhD; Nikhil Sharma, FRCP PhD; Duncan Wilson, PhD; David J Seiffge, MD; Clare Shakeshaft, Msc; Hans R Jäger, MD; Hannah Cohen, PhD; Tarek Yousry, MD; Rustam Al-Shahi Salman, PhD; Gregory Y Lip, FRCP PhD; Martin M Brown, FRCP PhD; Keith W Muir, FRCP; David J Werring, FRCP PhD; Henry Houlden, PhD
Neurobiology of Aging Volume 84, December 2019, Pages 237.e1-237.e3

Benefits for terminally ill patients: five minutes with . . . Nikhil Sharma
BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 07 February 2019)

Identifying the lifetime cognitive and socioeconomic antecedents of cognitive state: seven decades of follow-up in a British birth cohort study
M Richards1, Sarah-Naomi James1, Alison Sizer2, Nikhil Sharma1,3, Mark Rawle1, Daniel H J Davis1, Diana Kuh1
BMJ Open
Lifetime severe affective symptoms and subsequent mental status: over 50 years of follow-up in the 1946 birth cohort study
SN James, N Sharma, C O’Hare, D Kuh, M Richards
Journal of epidemiology and community health, Vol 71, Suppl 1

Lifetime case-level affective problems and later-life cognitive state: over 50 years of follow-up in a British Birth Cohort Study
Sarah-Naomi James Daniel Davis, PhD MRCP; Celia O'Hare, MRCPsych; Nikhil Sharma, PhD MRCP; Amber John, MA; Darya Gaysina, PhD; Rebecca Hardy, PhD; Diana Kuh, PhD FMedSci; Marcus Richards, PhD
Journal of affective disorders December 2018 241, 348-355

Quantifying Privacy Loss of Human Mobility Graph Topology.
Manousakas, D., Mascolo, C., Beresford, A. R., Chan, D. N Sharma. (2018).
PoPETs, 2018 (3), 5-21.

Association of objectively measured physical activity with brain structure: UK Biobank study
M, Hamer, N Sharma, D Batty.
Journal of Internal Medicine 2018 May 18

Associations of statin use with motor performance and myalgia are modified by vitamin D status in a British birth cohort study
N Sharma, R Cooper, D Kuh
Nature Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 6578(2017)

Study Protocol: Insight 46 - a neuroscience sub-study of the MRC National Survey of Health and Development
Christopher Lane, Thomas Parker; … Nikhil Sharma; Carole Sudre; David Thomas; Andrew Wong; Hui Zhang; John Hardy; Henrik Zetterberg; Sebastien Ourselin; Sebastian J Crutch; Diana Kuh; Marcus Richards; Nick C Fox; Jonathan M Schott
BMC Neurologyv201717:75

The MRC National Survey of Health and Development reaches age 70:
maintaining participation at older ages in a birth cohort study
Kuh D, Wong A, Shah I, Moore A, Popham M, Curran P, Davis D, Sharma N, Richards M, Stafford M, Hardy R, Cooper R.
Eur J Epidemiol. 2016 Nov;31(11):1135-1147. doi: 10.1007/s10654-016-0217-8. Epub 2016 Dec 19.

Systemic inflammatory response and neuromuscular involvement in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Ching-Hua Lu, Kezia Allen, Felicia Oei, Emanuela Leoni, Jens Kuhle, Timothy Tree, Pietro Fratta, Nikhil Sharma, Katie Sidle, Robin Howard, Richard Orrell, Mark Fish, Linda Greensmith, Neil Pearce, Valentina Gallo, and Andrea Malaspina
Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2016 Aug; 3(4): e244.

Is education a demographic dividend? The role of cognitive reserve in dementia-related cognitive decline: a comparison of six longitudinal studies of ageing
Dorina Cadar, Carol Jagger, PhD, Nikhil Sharma,... Graciela Muniz-Terrera, PhD
The Lancet Volume 386, S25, 13 November 2015

Motor recovery after subcortical stroke depends upon modulation of extant motor networks.
N Sharma JC Baron
Frontiers of Neurology 16 November 2015

Emergency stenting guided by CT perfusion in the management of traumatic bilateral carotid artery dissection
I Induruwa,N Sharma
European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine December 2015

CHCHD10 Pro34Ser is not a pathogenic variant for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.
Samir Abdelkarim, Sarah Morgan*, Vincent Plagnol, Gary Adamson, Ching-Hua Lu, Robin Howard, Andrea Malaspina, Richard Orrell, Nikhil Sharma, Katie Sidle, Jan Clarke, Elizabeth Fisher, John Hardy, Jonathan Rohrer, Simon Mead, Alan Pitman, Pietro Fratta
Brain 11 September 2015

Does Stopping Diuretics Prevent First Dose Hypotension in Older Heart Failure Patients Commencing ACE Inhibitor Therapy?
S O’Keeffe ,N Sharma, C A Donnellan, M Lye
European Geriatric Medicine July 2015 Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages 366–367

Effects of healthy ageing on activation pattern within the primary motor cortex during movement and motor imagery: an fMRI study.
N Sharma JC Baron
PLos One June 02, 2014 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088443

Does motor imagery share neural networks with executed movement: a multivariate fMRI analysis.
N Sharma JC Baron
Front Hum Neurosci. 2013 Sep 12;7:564.

Neural Plasticity-general principles
N Sharma, J Classen, L Cohen
Handb Clin Neurol. 2013;110:3-12

White matter microstructural correlates of superior long-term skill gained implicitly under randomized practice.
S. Song, N Sharma, E Buche, LG Cohen.
Cereb Cortex. 2012 Jul;22(7):1671-7. Epub 2011 Sep 12

Motor Imagery after stroke: where next?
N Sharma
Imaging in Medicine February 2012, Vol. 4, No. 1, Pages 129-136

External cueing improves motor imagery quality in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
E Heremans Werner Helsen, Alice Nieuwboer, Sarah Vercruysse, Wim Vandenberghe,
Nikhil Sharma, Peter Feys
Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2012 Jan;26(1):27-35

Motor imagery ability in patients with early and mid stage Parkinson’s disease.
E Heremans, Werner Helsen, Alice Nieuwboer, Sarah Vercruysse, Wim Vandenberghe,
Nikhil Sharma, Peter Feys
Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2011 Feb;25(2):168-77.

Effects of physiological noise in population analysis of diffusion tensor MRI data.
Walker L, Chang LC, Koay CG, Sharma N, Cohen L, Verma R, Pierpaoli C.
Neuroimage. 2011 Jan 15;54(2):1168-77. Epub 2010 Sep 8

The neural substrates of impaired tapping regularity after stroke
Cinzia Calautti, P S Jones, J-Y Guincestre, M Naccarato, MD; Nikhil Sharma, Diana Day, T A Carpenter, Elizabeth Warburton, JC Baron
Neuroimage. 2010 Mar;50(1):1-6. Epub 2009 Dec 11

Motor recovery after stroke
N Sharma, LG Cohen
Dev Psychobiol. 2010 Nov 17.

The relationship between motor deficit and primary motor cortex hemispheric activation balance after stroke: longitudinal fMRI study
C. Calautti, PS Jones, M. Naccarato, N. Sharma, DJ Day, ET Bullmore, EA Warburton, J-C Baron
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;81(7):788-92. Epub 2010 Apr 14.

The Motor System after Stroke: altered effective connectivity during Motor Imagery and Executed Movement.
N Sharma, JC Baron, JB Rowe.
Annals of Neurology. 2009 Nov;66(5):604-16.

The Neural Substrates of Motor Imagery in well recovered Sub-cortical Stroke patients.
N Sharma, L Simmons, PS Jones, DJ Day, TA Carpenter, V Pomeroy, EA Warburton, JC Baron.
Stroke. 2009 Apr;40(4):1315-24. Epub 2009 Jan 29.

Feasibility study of Motor Imagery after stroke.
L Simmons, N Sharma, JC Baron, V Pomeroy
Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair . 2008 Sep-Oct;22(5):458-67

Mapping the involvement of BA 4a and 4p during Motor Imagery.
N Sharma, PS Jones, TA Carpenter, JC Baron.
Neuroimage. 2008 May 15;41(1):92-9. 2008 Feb 20

The relationship between motor deficit and hemisphere activation balance after stroke.
C Calautti, M Naccarato, PS Jones, N Sharma, DJ Day, A Carpenter; ET Bullmore, EA Warburton, J-C Baron.
Neuroimage 34(1),1 January 2007, P 322-331
Motor Imagery: a back door to the motor system after stoke?
N. Sharma, V. Pomeroy, J-C Baron. Stroke 2006 Jul;37(7):1941-52