Division of Neurology

Adrian Upton


Professor Emeritus, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine






Education and Professional Standing

Dr. Adrian Upton won 14 prizes at Clifton College Bristol and was awarded a State Scholarship (1958) and an Open Scholarship in Natural Sciences to Peterhouse, Cambridge. He obtained Part I (Natural Sciences – 1961) and Part II (Psychology – 1962) degrees from Cambridge.

At Guy’s Hospital he was awarded a certificate in the Larkin Prize in Medicine and the Charles Oldham Prize in Ophthalmology and he was a student demonstrator in Pathology.

Dr. Upton obtained the M.A., M.B., B. Chir., L.R.C.P., M.R.C.S. degrees in 1965.

He did house jobs at Guy’s Hospital, the London Chest Hospital, Whittington Hospital and Registrar positions at Queen Square and then he was a Senior Registrar at Newcastle General Hospital. He became Assistant Professor of Medicine (Neurology) at McMaster University in September 1971 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1974 and full Professor (1981). He was head of the Division of Neurology since 1980 until 2005.

Dr. Upton obtained the Fellowship in Neurology of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada by examination in 1974.

He was awarded the Fellowships of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Dr. Upton has been Director of the Regional Epilepsy and Diagnostic Neurophysiology clinics since 1971 and Neurology Clinics since 1980. He was Director of the MS Clinic for 10 years.

He has been an active paediatric and adult clinical neurologist since 1971, seeing about 60 patients a week on service at 5 hospitals.

Research Interests

Dr. Upton's research has ranged from cardioversion, diagnosis of herpes encephalitis, motor unit counting, the double crush syndrome, control of tremor with primidone, the new evoked potentials, neurostimulation for Parkinson’s disease (1970’s), epilepsy (1970’s) and movement disorders. Over 27 years, he has pioneered the use of new forms of neurostimulation (cerebellar, thalamic, vagal), culminating in the receipt of a number of patents on new pacemakers for the brain, involving responsive stimulation that corrects abnormal electrical activity in epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, movement disorders, migraine, and pain. These new pacemakers will respond to abnormal signs in the brain and then inhibit or control those signals to prevent clinical symptoms. He is using Transcutaneous Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for migraines and other disorders.

He has been chairman of international meetings on neurostimulation (Monaco, Nice) in 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1990 and he has been on the Editorial Board of Pace and a reviewer for numerous journals including The Lancet, Pace, The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry and Gastroenterology. He has been a consultant to NASA, to the Mann Foundation and to Government agencies.

Dr. Upton has over 410 publications and over 130 peer-reviewed articles. He has been co-author of 7 books and has made over 380 invited presentations around the world."