Dr Carl Counsell

Dr Carl Counsell

Reader (Clinical)

I am currently accepting PhDs in Nutrition and Health.

Dr Carl Counsell
Dr Carl Counsell

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 437119
fax 01224 551188
The University of Aberdeen Room 1:009, Polwarth Building Division of Applied Health Sciences University of Aberdeen Foresterhill Aberdeen AB25 2ZD


Carl is a clinical reader and honorary consultant in neurology.  He graduated in medicine from Cambridge University in 1988, did his early postgraduate medical training in London, Newcastle and Falkirk and then trained in neurology, stroke and epidemiology in Edinburgh.  He spent a year in Melbourne where he specialised in movement disorders before taking up his present post in 2001.  He is married to Gay, a GP, and has one daughter, Helena.  A committed Christian, he would like to have more time to serve in his church and develop his interests in Fairtrade and conservation. 

Latest Publications

  • Ocrelizumab not recommended in France for patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis while recommended in England: a review comparing the assessment by HAS and NICE

    Armoiry, X., Späth, H., Henaine, A., Dussart, C., Counsell, C., Connock, M.

  • Association of GBA Genotype With Motor and Functional Decline in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Parkinson Disease

    Maple-Grødem, J., Dalen, I., Tysnes, O., MacLeod, A. D., Forsgren, L., Counsell, C. E., Alves, G.

  • Association of SNCA Parkinson's Disease Risk Polymorphisms With Disease Progression in Newly Diagnosed Patients

    Szwedo, A. A., Pedersen, C. C., Ushakova, A., Forsgren, L., Tysnes, O., Counsell, C. E., Alves, G., Lange, J., Macleod, A. D., Maple-Grødem, J.

  • Accuracy of death certificates for recording parkinsonian syndromes and associated dementia

    Shi, H., Counsell, C.

  • Validation of a UPDRS-/MDS-UPDRS-based definition of functional dependency for Parkinson's disease

    Ramsay, N., MacLeod, A. D., Alves, G., Camacho, M., Forsgren, L., Lawson, R. A., Maple-Grødem, J., Tysnes, O., Williams-Gray, C. H., Yarnall, A. J., Counsell, C. E., the Parkinson’s Incidence Cohorts Collaboration

View all Publications

External Memberships and Affiliations

Cochrane Movement Disorders Group editorial board member

UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network regional lead


Research Areas

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me


  • Clinical Medicine

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

Research Overview

Carl is a consultant neurologist with subspecialty interest in movement disorders.  His main research interests are in evidence-based medicine and broader aspects of clinical epidemiology such as incidence and prognostic studies, particularly in relation to Parkinson's disease, other movement disorders and stroke.  His team have established several cohorts of parkinsonian patients for long-term follow-up and support a number of non-industry sponsored clinical trials and Cochrane reviews, whilst also trying to promote multidisciplinary neurology research in Aberdeen. 

Current Research

The PINE study: a population-based incidence cohort of people with Parkinson's disease and other parkinsonian disorders, along with their carers and controls who are being followed up lifelong to establish long-term prognosis.

The Parkinson's Incidence Cohorts Collaboration:  an individual patient data meta-analysis of all population- based incidence cohorts of Parkinson's disease to assess prognosis and allow prognostic modelling.     

The Scottish PSP/CBD prevalence cohort:  a cohort of people with two related Parkinson's plus disorders,  Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and Corticobasal Degeneration as well as Parkinson's disease controls, to assess diagnostic and care pathways and prognosis.  


Past Research

Cochrane systematic reviews of randomised trials in stroke care

Prognostic modelling in acute stroke

Incidence of Parkinson's disease and other parkinsonian disorders in North-East Scotland 

Prevalence of multiple sclerosis in North-East Scotland and northern isles

Randomised trial of physiotherapy for cervical dystonia


Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement

Member of Parkinson's Excellence Network


Cochrane Collaboration Stroke Review Group, Professors Charles Warlow and Peter Sandercock, University of Edinburgh, UK, 1993-98.

Scottish Audit of Intracranial Vascular Malformations, Professor Rustam Al-Shahi Salman, University of Edinburgh, UK, 2002-2014. 

PDMED trial, Professor Carl Clarke, University of Birmingham, UK, 2004-2020.

Clinical trial methods in neurodegenerative diseases, Professor John Zajicek, University of Plymouth, UK, 2009-2014. 

PDCOMM trial, Professor Sackley, University of Nottingham, UK, 2016 ongoing.

NICE technology appraisals for multiple sclerosis, Universities of Warwick and Exeter, UK, 2016 ongoing 

Parkinson's Incidence Cohorts Collaboration, Professor Tysnes, Dr Guido Alves, Professor Lars Forsgren, Dr Caroline Williams-Gray, Dr Alison Yarnall, Universities of Stavanger (Norway), Umea (Sweden), Cambridge (UK) and Newcastle (UK), 2018 ongoing 

PD Connect exercise trial, Julie Jones, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK, 2019 ongoing 



Dr Kate Taylor (MD), 2002-06, Incidence and prognosis of parkinsonism in north-east Scotland: a pilot study.

Clare Harris (MSc), 2006-08, PINE participants attitudes to brain donation. 

Dr Robert Caslake (PhD), 2006-11, Incidence and short-term porgnosis of Parkinson's disease andother parkinsonian disorders in north-east Scotland.

Dr Elizabeth Visser (MD), 2009-13, Prevalence of multiple sclerosis in northern Scotland.

Dr David McGhee (PhD), 2009-13, Improving clinical trial design in neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr Angus Macleod (PhD), 2012-15, Predicting mortality and dependency in Parkinson's disease.

Dr Diane Swallow (PhD), 2016-21, Assessing diagnostic pathways in progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration.

Research Funding and Grants

Research funding has been obtained from:

Parkinson’s UK, Scottish Chief Scientist Office, BMA Doris Hillier award, RS Macdonald Trust, BUPA Foundation, NHS Grampian endowments, Dystonia Society, National Institute for Health Research.  


Teaching Responsibilities

Lectures and clinical teaching of neurology for medical and dental students.

Supervising medical student elective and MSc projects 

Non-Course Teaching Responsibilities

Regent to medical students



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