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Professor Michael Hanna

Neurology

Medical interests: Neurological disorders, headaches, stroke, blackouts, rare neurological diseases, myasthenia gravis, mitochondrial diseases, channelopathies.


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About

An important part of my work as a Consultant Neurologist is seeing patients with the more common neurological symptoms such as headaches, blackouts and stroke, which need careful assessment to determine either their cause or the extent of their impact. I also specialise in treating patients with a variety of rare muscle wasting neurological diseases and weakness including myositis, muscular dystrophy, motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, channelopathies and mitochondrial diseases and I run programmes in neuromuscular neurological rehabilitation. I am active in neurological research, particularly in the use of genetic diagnostics to detect mitochondrial diseases and muscle/neurological channelopathies.

Expertise

Clinical neurology

Professor Hanna has significant experience of assessing and treating a wide range of common neurological disorders and has extensive expertise in muscle wasting neurological diseases, so called neuromuscular diseases, many of which are rare.

  • Neuromuscular diseases include:
  • Muscular dystrophies (e.g. Duchenne, Becker and myotonic dystrophies)
  • Mitochondrial disease and other fatigue states
  • Motor neurone diseases
  • Peripheral Neuropathies
  • Neurological channelopathies

Professor Hanna has personally assessed over 20,000 patients since becoming a consultant in 1998. Complex neurological cases are often referred to him by other consultant neurologists, who recognise his ability to provide new diagnostic insights.

Research

Professor Hanna leads a large research group at the Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases. The ultimate aim is to improve diagnostic accuracy and find more effective treatments for neuromuscular muscle wasting diseases. They have many projects ongoing across many different neuromuscular diseases, examples include:

  • Neurological channelopathies: patients have a disturbance in the cellular processes that control electrical signalling in the nervous system. These conditions may affect the brain, peripheral nerves or muscles and may cause progressive or intermittent neurological symptoms. For example, patients with muscle channelopathies may experience episodes of complete muscle paralysis or episodes of severe muscle stiffness known as myotonia.
  • Mitochondrial neuromuscular diseases: these are caused by disturbances of mitochondrial function in muscle, nerve or brain cells. Mitochondria are present in virtually every cell in the body and have a critical role in providing the cellular energy -they are known as the "batteries" of the cell. If the mitochondria do not work properly patients can experience a wide range of different neurological symptoms such as epilepsy, strokes, migraine, visual loss, hearing loss, ataxia, fatigue, exercise intolerance or muscle weakness. Sometimes patients may also have involvement of other organ systems and may develop heart problems, renal dysfunction, liver dysfunction or diabetes.
  • Inclusion body myopathy (IBM): this is most common serious muscle wasting disease that develops in people over 40 and there are no proven treatments. It causes progressive wasting and weakness in muscles of the arms and legs and swallowing. The precise cause is not known but there appears to be a combination of inflammation and degeneration in muscle. An accurate diagnosis is important to avoid confusion with other conditions such as polymyositis where different treatments such as steroids may help. There is an active research programme into the cause of IBM and ongoing clinical trials of new potential therapies.
  • Genetic studies: many neuromuscular diseases such as neurological channelopathies, mitochondrial neuromuscular diseases and muscular dystrophies are caused by genetic mutations in different genes. Professor Hanna and his team have one of the largest databases in the world that contain extensive clinical and investigative data on patients with carefully characterised neuromuscular diseases. This is being used to study the genes involved and the mechanisms that cause damage to the muscles in people with these diseases.

Background

Medical training

Professor Hanna completed his undergraduate training in Medical Biochemistry and then Medicine at Manchester University, graduating with honours in his medical degree overall in 1988 (MBChB Honours). He undertook postgraduate medical and neurological training at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, at the Newcastle upon Tyne Teaching Hospitals and at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. He also completed neurological research training as an MRC Clinical Training Fellow at the UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London.

Current appointments

Professor Hanna was appointed Consultant Neurologist to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, which is part of the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 1998, and was promoted to UCL Professor of Clinical Neurology in 2006. He went on to set up and then lead the National Hospital's Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases, which is now a nationwide centre that sees over 4,500 patients every year. Professor Hanna was Clinical Director of the National Hospital from 2007 to 2012. Since 2012 he has been Director of the UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square.

As Director of the Queen Square Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases for Research and Treatment, Professor Hanna has been awarded over £10m in research funding and £6m in NHS funding for specialised neuromuscular services over the past five years. He has published over 240 original research articles, books and book chapters covering many areas of neurology, neuromuscular diseases and neurogenetics and is passionate about training and teaching the next generation of neurologists. He was made Adjunct Professor in the Neurology Faculty at the University of Iowa, USA in November 2013.

NHS practice

Consultant Neurologist to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery within the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

 

Availability

Professor Michael Hanna’s availability for consultations

 
In clinic
Clinic times*
Mon
 
 
Tue
 
 
Wed
Yes
6.00pm - 8.00pm
Thu
 
 
Fri
 
 
Sat
Yes
9.30am - 1.30pm**

* Other times may be available on request
** Alternate Saturdays only

Fees

Dr Mike Hanna: fees

Type of patient Initial consultation (40-60 minutes) Follow up consultation (30-40 minutes)
Self pay £350 £250
Insured Within the schedule of charges for specific insurance companies* Within the schedule of charges for specific insurance companies*

* If your policy covers consultations, there will be no shortfall to pay (but you may have an excess on your policy). Please also note that some policies do not cover consultations – always check your policy conditions or contact with your insurer as necessary.

Declaration of Interest

Professor Michael Hanna has a financial interest in the Devonshire Diagnostic Centre Limited.

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