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Neurodegenerative Disorders Clinic

Neurodegenerative disorders can lead to problems in movement or memory in previously healthy adults. Some neurodegenerative disorders that affect movement or memory have common molecular pathology, with accumulation of abnormal proteins (TDP-43 and Tau) in brain cells. This family of disorders includes frontotemporal dementia (FTD), amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), corticobasal syndrome (CBS), primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). In some cases, genes cause or increase the risk for developing these neurodegenerative disorders. Familial inheritance may be unrecognized because different family members may be diagnosed with different disorders. For example, within the same family, mutations in gene C90for72 can cause ALS or FTD in different family members. The clinical findings depend on the regions of the brain that degenerate. In FTD, nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain degenerate, causing changes in thinking, personality, and behavior. In ALS nerve cells in the motor regions of the brain and spinal cord degenerate leading to difficulty with walking, talking, or hand coordination.

The Neurodegenerative Disorders Clinic seeks patients with these disorders for research to better understand the clinical spectrum of thesese diseases. Patients will be asked to donate blood or skin tissue for studies of genetic and cellular mechanisms of degeneration. Patients will be assessed for eligiblity for current or future clinical studies of these disorders.

If you are a patient diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, amytrophic lateral sclerosis, corticobasal syndrome, primary progressive aphasia, or progressive supranuclear palsy and are interested in participating in one of our research studies, please contact:

Carol Hoffman or Jennifer Farren, RN
301-452-1229 (please leave voice mail with contact information)
301-451-9805 (fax)


Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office toll-free at:
TTY: 1-866-411-1010

Neurodegenerative Care Providers at NIH:


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Justin Kwan, MD
Director of
the Neurodegenerative Disorders Clinic

 Mary Kay Floeter M.D. Ph.D
Chief, Motor Neuron
Disorders Unit, NINDS

 Bryan Traynor MD PhD
Chief, Neuromuscular Disease
Research Section, LNG, NIA
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 Michael Ward, MD, PhD
Chief, Inherited Neurodegenerative
Disease Section, NINDS

 Eric Wassermann, MD
Chief, Behavioral
Neurology Unit, NINDS

Sonja Scholz, MD, PhD
Chief, Neurodegenerative
Diseases Research Unit
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Bryan Smith, MD
Staff Clinician, Section on Diseases
of the Nervous System, NINDS
  Min-Jeong Kim, MD, PhD
Clinical Fellow, Molecular
Imaging Brain Branch, NIMH

  Allison Snyder MD
Clinical Fellow
Neurogenetics Branch, NINDS



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Michael Tierney, MA
Behavioral Neurology Unit

  Carolyn Sherer, PhD
Clinical Neuropsychologist, OCD, NINDS

Research Nurse:

Jennifer Farren, RN



Carol Hoffman

Studies Actively Recruiting Patients:
17-N-0131: Investigating Complex Neurodegenerative Disorders Related to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia

For more information on Motor Neuron Disorders:

Related Links: