Dr Carl Counsell

Dr Carl Counsell
Dr Carl Counsell
Dr Carl Counsell


Reader (Clinical)

Accepting PhDs

Email Address
Office Address

Room 1:009, Polwarth Building Division of Applied Health Sciences University of Aberdeen Foresterhill Aberdeen AB25 2ZD

School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition


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

View My Publications


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. 

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Nutrition and Health.

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

Email Me

Nutrition and Health

Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • 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 licence.

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

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, 2016-2023.

NICE technology appraisals for multiple sclerosis, Universities of Warwick and Exeter, UK, 2016-2022 

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, 2019-2022 



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.

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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Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

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