Dr Roger Whittaker
Clinical Senior Lecturer/Hon Consultant
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: 0191 2083543
- Address: Institute of Neuroscience
Henry Wellcome Building for Neuroecology
Newcastle upon Tyne
I studied medicine at Cambridge University before moving to the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford on a BMA scholarship. After completing my specialist training in Clinical Neurophysiology in Newcastle and Edinburgh, I returned to Newcastle to complete a PhD in cortical network dynamics. I now hold a Clinical Senior Lecturer post in the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, and an Honorary Consultant post in the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology in the RVI. Outside work my main interests are my family and anything to do with going up or coming down mountains.
My research interest is in developing novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to neurological diseases. I am PI on an EPSRC funded project to develop a multi-channel electromyography system to allow electrical cross-sectional imaging of human skeletal muscles. This project uses microfabrication techniques to pattern multiple electrodes within flexible substrates such as parylene-C. These are subsequently bonded to metal needles to allow recordings to be made from within human muscles. We hope that these techniques will for the first time allow the accurate definition of normal human motor unit structure, ultimately leading to improved diagnostic techniques for a range of neuromuscular diseases such as motor neuron disease and myasthenia gravis.
I am also clinical lead on an EPSRC/Wellcome Trust funded project to develop a novel optogenetic treatment for focal epilepsy. Currently, epilepsy surgery is one treatment option for patients with focal epilepsy that does not respond to anti-epileptic medications. Surgery to remove the epileptic focus abolishes seizures in approximately 70% of patients; however this figure falls to approximately 50% after 10 years. Furthermore, many patients with epilepsy are not suitable for this approach because of the risk of unacceptable side-effects of the surgery. Our approach is to use closed-loop control of optogenetically sensitized neurons to normalise the activity of the focus rather than removing it.
- Raper J, Jenabi F, Lim A, Whittaker R, Anderson K, Basu A. Progressive weakness, ptosis and pseudomyopathic face as the presenting features in a patient with narcolepsy. In: British Paediatric Neurology Association Annual Meeting. 2017, Cambridge: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
- Lax NZ, Grady J, Laude A, Chan F, Hepplewhite PD, Gorman G, Whittaker RG, Ng Y, Cunningham MO, Turnbull DM. Extensive respiratory chain defects in inhibitory interneurones in patients with mitochondrial disease. Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 2016, 42(2), 180-193.
- Jones RS, daSilva AB, Whittaker RG, Woodhall GL, Cunningham MO. Human brain slices for epilepsy research: Pitfalls, solutions and future challenges. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 2016, 260, 221-232.
- Whittaker RG, Gorman G, Ng Y, Turnbull DM. Prevalence and Outcome of Mitochondrial Epilepsy Reply. Annals of Neurology 2016, 80(2), 314-314.
- Atherton KE, Nobre AC, Lazar AS, Wulff K, Whittaker RG, Dhawan V, Lazar ZI, Zeman AZ, Butler CR. Slow wave sleep and accelerated forgetting. Cortex 2016, 84, 80-89.
- Hunter E, Rogathi J, Chigudu S, Jusabani A, Jackson M, Whittaker RG, Gray W, McNally RJ, Aris E, Mushi D, Walker R. The epilepsy treatment gap in rural Tanzania: a community-based study in adults. Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy 2016, 36, 49-56.
- Shaw S, Ng YS, Whittaker R, McFarland R, Turnbull D, Gorman G, Schaefer A. A clinical audit of acute management of stroke-like episodes from a national mitochondrial disease centre. In: 2015 ABN Annual Meeting. 2015, London, UK: BMJ Group.
- Whittaker RG, Herrmann DN, Bansagi B, Hasan BAS, Lofra RM, Logigian EL, Sowden JE, Almodovar JL, Littleton JT, Zuchner S, Horvath R, Lochmuller H. Electrophysiologic features of SYT2 mutations causing a treatable neuromuscular syndrome. Neurology 2015, 85(22), 1964-1971.
- Whittaker RG, Devine HE, Gorman GS, Schaefer AM, Horvath R, Ng Y, Nesbitt V, Lax NZ, McFarland R, Cunningham MO, Taylor RW, Turnbull DM. Epilepsy in Adults With Mitochondrial Disease: A Cohort Study. Annals of Neurology 2015, 78(6), 949-957.
- Read JCA, Georgiou R, Brash C, Yazdani P, Whittaker R, Trevelyan A, Serrano-Pedraza I. Moderate acute alcohol intoxication has minimal effect on surround suppression measured with a motion direction discrimination task. Journal of Vision 2015, 15(1), 5.
- Yazdani P, Serrano-Pedraza I, Whittaker RG, Trevelyan A, Read JC. Two common psychophysical measures of surround suppression reflect independent neuronal mechanisms. Journal of Vision 2015, 15(13).
- Simon A, Traub RD, Vladimirov N, Jenkins A, Nicholson C, Whittaker RG, Schofield I, Clowry GJ, Cunningham MO, Whittington MA. Gap junction networks can generate both ripple-like and fast ripple-like oscillations. European Journal of Neuroscience 2014, 39(1), 46-60.
- Herrmann DN, Horvath R, Sowden JE, Gonzales M, Sanchez-Mejias A, Guan Z, Whittaker RG, Almodovar JL, Lane M, Bansagi B, Pyle A, Boczonadi V, Lochmuller H, Griffin H, Chinnery PE, Lloyd TE, Littleton JT, Zuchner S. Synaptotagmin 2 Mutations Cause an Autosomal-Dominant Form of Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome and Nonprogressive Motor Neuropathy. American Journal of Human Genetics 2014, 95(3), 332-339.
- Whittaker RG, Chinnery PF, Miller JAL. Teaching Video NeuroImages: Muscle cramps and a raised creatine kinase. Neurology 2014, 82(24), E220-E221.
- Jaiser SR, Baker MR, Whittaker RG, Birchall D, Chinnery PF. Clinical Reasoning: A 39-year-old man with abdominal cramps. Neurology 2013, 81(2), e5-e9.
- Whittaker RG, Hall E, Mansoor MK, Taylor RW, Turnbull DM. Incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in adult patients with mitochondrial disease. Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System 2013, 18(1), 59-61.
- Elson JL, Cadogan M, Apabhai S, Whittaker RG, Phillips A, Trennell MI, Horvath R, Taylor RW, McFarland R, McColl E, Turnbull DM, Gorman GS. Initial development and validation of a mitochondrial disease quality of life scale. Neuromuscular Disorders 2013, 23(4), 324-329.
- Kosac A, Gavillet E, Whittaker RG. Neurophysiological testing in congenital myasthenic syndromes: A systematic review of published normal data. Muscle and Nerve 2013, 48(5), 711-715.
- Jones K, Whittaker R, Miller J, Jakovljevic D, Turnbull D, Gorman G. The Effects of High Intensity Interval Training on Clinical Symptoms and Functional Capacity in Adults with Neuromuscular Disease. In: Association of British Neurologists (ABN) joint meeting with the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). 2013, London, UK: BMJ Publishing Group.
- Brown SM, Williams TL, Whittaker RG. A cautionary tale: Threatened compartment syndrome following electromyography in an anticoagulated patient. Muscle & Nerve 2012, 46(1), 144-145.
- Burton K, Rogathe J, Whittaker RG, Mankad K, Hunter E, Burton MJ, Todd J, Neville BGR, Walker R, Newton CRJC. Co-morbidity of epilepsy in Tanzanian children: A community-based case-control study. Seizure: European Journal fo Epliepsy 2012, 21(3), 169-174.
- Hunter E, Rogathe J, Iqbal A, Birchall D, Whittaker R, Jackson M, Jusabani A, Aris E, Walker R. Convulsive epilepsy in a rural district of northern Tanzania: risk factors and classification. In: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry: Association of British Neurologists Annual Meeting. 2012, Gateshead, UK: BMJ Group.
- Cunningham MO, Roopun A, Schofield IS, Whittaker RG, Duncan R, Russell A, Jenkins A, Nicholson C, Whittington MA, Traub RD. Glissandi: transient fast electrocorticographic oscillations of steadily increasing frequency, explained by temporally increasing gap junction conductance. Epilepsia 2012, 53(7), 1205-1214.
- Read JL, Whittaker RG, Miller N, Clark S, Taylor R, McFarland R, Turnbull D. Prevalence and severity of speech and swallowing difficulties in mitochondrial disease. International Journal Language Communication Disorders 2012, 47(1), 106-111.
- Lax NZ, Whittaker RG, Hepplewhite PD, Reeve AK, Blakely EL, Jaros E, Ince PG, Taylor RW, Fawcett PR, Turnbull DM. Sensory neuronopathy in patients harbouring recessive polymerase γ mutations. Brain 2012, 135(1), 62-71.
- Basu AP, Bellis P, Whittaker RG, McKean M, Devlin A. Teaching NeuroImages: Alternating ptosis and Marcus Gunn jaw-winking phenomenon with PHOX2B mutation. Neurology 2012, 79(17), e153.
- Lavender T, Goldsmith P, Whittaker R, Schwab U. Botulism, recreational drug use revisited: inhalational poisoning or wound infection?: Category: Clinical Lesson. Journal of Infection 2011, 63(6), e117-e118.
- Romaniuk L, Turnbull DM, Whittaker RG. Hyperventilation during the EEG is safe in mitochondrial disease. Clinical Neurophysiology 2011, 122(6), 1270-1271.
- Whittaker RG, Turnbull DM, Whittington MA, Cunningham MO. Impaired mitochondrial function abolishes gamma oscillations in the hippocampus through an effect on fast-spiking interneurons. Brain 2011, 134(7), e180.
- Say RE, Whittaker RG, Turnbull HE, McFarland R, Taylor RW, Turnbull DM. Mitochondrial disease in pregnancy: a systematic review. Obstetric Medicine 2011, 4(3), 90-94.
- Nesbitt V, Whittaker R, Turnbull D, McFarland R, Taylor R. mtDNA disease for the neurologist. Future Neurology 2011, 6(1), 63-80.
- Baker MR, Fisher KM, Whittaker RG, Griffiths PG, Yu-Wai-Man P, Chinnery PF. Subclinical multisystem neurologic disease in "pure" OPA1 autosomal dominant optic atrophy. Neurology 2011, 77(13), 1309-1312.
- Roopun AK, Simonotto JD, Pierce ML, Jenkins A, Nicholson C, Schofield IS, Whittaker RG, Kaiser M, Whittington MA, Traub RD, Cunningham MO. A nonsynaptic mechanism underlying interictal discharges in human epileptic neocortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2010, 107(1), 338-343.
- Gorman G, Turnbull DM, Horvath R, Whittaker R, Phillips A, Cadogan M, Elson JL, McColl E, Apabhai S, MaFarland R. Development and validation of a quality of life scale for mitochondrial disease (MITO-QOL). In: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry: Annual Meeting of the Association of British Neurologists. 2010, Bournemouth, UK: BMJ Group.
- Kisler JE, Whittaker RG, McFarland R. Mitochondrial diseases in childhood: a clinical approach to investigation and management. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 2010, 52(5), 422-433.
- Yu Wai Man P, Griffiths PG, Gorman GS, Lourenco CM, Wright AF, Auer-Grumbach M, Toscano A, Musumeci O, Valentino ML, Caporali L, Lamperti C, Tallaksen CM, Duffey P, Miller J, Whittaker RG, Baker MR, Jackson MJ, Clarke MP, Dhillon B, Czermin B, Stewart JD, Hudson G, Reynier P, Bonneau D, Marques W, Lenaers G, McFarland R, Taylor RW, Turnbull DM, Votruba M, Zeviani M, Carelli V, Bindoff LA, Horvath R, Amati-Bonneau P, Chinnery PF. Multi-system neurological disease is common in patients with OPA1 mutations. Brain 2010, 133(3), 771-786.
- Elson JL, Apabhai S, Gorman G, Whittaker RG, Krishnan KJ. Older mothers are not at risk of having grandchildren with sporadic mtDNA deletions. Genetics in Medicine 2010, 12(5), 313-314.
- Blackwood JK, Whittaker RG, Blakely EL, Alston CL, Turnbull DM, Taylor RW. The investigation and diagnosis of pathogenic mitochondrial DNA mutations in human urothelial cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2010, 393(4), 740-745.
- Whittaker RG, Turnbull DM. A diagnostic tattoo. Clinical Genetics 2009, 75(1), 37-38.
- Roopun AK, Traub RD, Baldeweg T, Cunningham MO, Whittaker RG, Trevelyan A, Duncan R, Russell AJC, Whittington MA. Detecting seizure origin using basic, multiscale population dynamic measures: Preliminary findings. Epilepsy & Behavior 2009, 14(1), 39-46.
- Al-Dosary M, Whittaker RG, Haughton J, McFarland R, Goodship J, Turnbull DM, Taylor RW. Neuromuscular disease presentation with three genetic defects involving two genomes. Neuromuscular Disorders 2009, 19(12), 841-844.
- Turnbull H, Whittaker RG, Phillips A, Poulton J, McFarland R. The Risk of Complications in Pregnancy and Labour for Women with Mitochondrial Disease. In: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry: ABN Joint Annual Meeting/Spanish Society of Neurology. 2009, Liverpool, UK: BMJ Group.
- Whittaker RG, Blackwood JK, Alston CL, Blakely EL, Elson JL, McFarland R, Chinnery PF, Turnbull DM, Taylor RW. Urine Heteroplasmy is the Best Predictor of Clinical Outcome in the m.3243A>G mtDNA Mutation. Neurology 2009, 72(6), 568-569.
- Moriarty KT, McFarland R, Whittaker R, Burch J, Turnbull HE, Taylor RW, Turnbull DM. Pre-eclampsia and magnesium toxicity with therapeutic plasma level in a woman with m.3243A > G melas mutation. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2008, 28(3), 349.
- Schaefer AM, McFarland R, Blakely EL, He L, Whittaker RG, Taylor RW, Chinnery PF, Turnbull DM. Prevalence of mitochondrial DNA disease in adults. Annals of Neurology 2008, 63(1), 35-39.
- Alston C, Whittaker RG, Blakely EL, Blackwood JK, McFarland R, Turnbull DM, Taylor RW. Urinary epithelia as an indicator of m.3243A>G heteroplasmy levels and predictor of clinical outcome. In: British Human Genetics Conference 2008. 2008, University of York, UK: Journal of Medical Genetics: BMJ Group.
- Whittaker RG, Schaefer AM, McFarland R, Taylor RW, Walker M, Turnbull DM. Diabetes and deafness: Is it sufficient to screen for the mitochondrial 3243A>G mutation alone?. Diabetes Care 2007, 30(9), 2238-2239.
- Whittaker RG, Schaefer AM, Taylor RW, Turnbull DM. Differential diagnosis in ptosis and ophthalmoplegia: Mitochondrial disease or myasthenia? . Journal of Neurology 2007, 254(8), 1138-1139.
- Whittaker RG, Schaefer AM, McFarland R, Taylor RW, Walker M, Turnbull DM. Prevalence and progression of diabetes in mitochondrial disease. Diabetologia 2007, 50(10), 2085-2089.
- Whittaker R, Scott A, Gardner M. The prevalence of prolonged cerebral seizures at the first treatment in a course of electroconvulsive therapy. Journal of ECT 2007, 23(1), 11-13.
- Whittaker RG, Ferenczi E, Hilton-Jones D. Myotonic dystrophy: Practical issues relating to assessment of strength. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2006, 77(11), 1282-1283.
- Yazdani P, Read JCA, Whittaker RG, Trevelyan AJ. Assessment of epilepsy using noninvasive visual psychophysics tests of surround suppression. Physiological Reports 2017, 5(5), e13079.