Professor, Department of Neurology
Division of Movement Disorders
Dr. Sigmund Rosen Scholar in Neurology
Medical School: State Univ. of New York, 1976; M.D.
Internship: Washington Univ., St. Louis, 1977
Residency: Washington Univ., St. Louis, 1980
Fellowships: State Univ. of New York at Buffalo, 1975-76 (neurophysiology); Washington Univ., St. Louis, 1980-82 (motor neurophysiology and movement disorders)
Office: SC 360A, 1720 7th Ave S, Birmingham AL 35294-0017
Dr. Montgomery's website
Dr. Erwin Montgomery joined the department on April 1, 2009 as a Professor of Neurology in the Division of Movement Disorders and was named the Dr. Sigmund Rosen Scholar in Neurology.
Dr. Montgomery received his M.D. from the State University of New York School of Medicine and completed a fellowship in Neurophysiology in the laboratory of Sir John Eccles. He then completed an internship in Internal Medicine, residency in neurology and fellowship in Motor Neurophysiology and Movement Disorders at Washington University.
Before joining UAB, Dr. Montgomery was the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Roger Duvoisin Fellowship from the American Parkinson Disease Association and the Roland Mackay Award from the American Academy of Neurology. Additionally, he was elected to the American Neurological Association, a prestigious honor reserved for those neurologists who are most distinguished in the field.
For the last 30 years, Dr. Montgomery's research has focused on understanding how the brain controls movement and what goes wrong with that control when a person develops Parkinson's Disease. His main research and clinical practice are focused on Movement Disorders. This includes Parkinson's disease, Deep Brain Stimulation, dystonia, tremors, and other movement disorders. Additionally, Dr. Montgomery is actively conducting basic laboratory research in basal ganglia physiology and pathophysiology. Studies include electrophysiological and behavioral studies in humans and computational modeling and simulations. Dr. Montgomery's research includes attempting to understand how Deep Brain Stimulation is so effective for treating a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders and exploring new uses of brain stimulation.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
For the last 30 years, Dr. Erwin Montgomery’s research focused on understanding how the brain controls movement and what goes wrong with that control when a person develops Parkinson’s Disease. Nerve cells in the brain send information to the muscles to create movement. That information is in the form of electrical impulses in a manner similar to Morse Code, where the dots and dashes encode information. Unfortunately, the manner in which the brain encodes information in the sequence of electrical impulses is more complex. Dr. Montgomery’s research involves placing electrodes in the brain of laboratory animals and humans undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation surgery. Using these electrodes, Dr. Montgomery can eavesdrop on the conversation the brain cells are having about the intended movement by using advanced computer analyses to decode the conversation. Dr. Montgomery studies laboratory animals that are made Parkinsonian and humans with Parkinson’s and other disorders to understand how the normal information becomes misinformed.
Dr. Montgomery and his colleagues are also studying how DBS works. We know that Parkinson’s Disease is not just a lack of dopamine in the brain, because DBS was effective in cases where dopamine replacement (medication or fetal cell transplantation) had failed. Dr. Montgomery hopes that, by understanding how DBS works and how it is different from medications and fetal or stem cell transplantation, more effective therapies can be developed in the future. Dr. Montgomery also conducts clinical trials of new experimental medications and treatments. His patients often have opportunities to receive these treatments years before they become generally available.
Publications in PubMed
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