Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Dr Vandy Dhawan

Associate Clinical Researcher


My present role is of an Associate clinical researcher in the very dynamic Institute of Neuroscience (ION) at Newcastle University. I am also in the writing up period of my MPhil/MD Neuroscience programme, which is related to my medical specialty of Clinical Neurophysiology.


Title of project:

Beta-band EMG-EMG coherence: a novel, painless and simple screening test for the onset of corticospinal tract disease/dorsal root ganglionopathy in Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA).

 PIs for the project:

Dr Mark Baker

Professor Patrick Chinnery


The aim of the study was to assess the performance of a range of electrophysiological tests (nerve conduction studies, motor evoked potentials using transcranial magnetic stimulation, somatosensory evoked potentials) and molecular assays (blood Frataxin levels and mitochondrial function of skin fibroblasts) in the monitoring of disease progression in FRDA against the Friedreich’s Ataxia Rating Scale (FARS), a standard clinical rating scale for monitoring disease progression in FRDA.

 Also, by including the measurement of this new test- beta-band intermuscular coherence (BIMC), we are proposing that multi-modal screening will be more efficient and more effective.

The study has been funded and very well supported by Ataxia UK, FARA and NHS NIHR and is now concluded (Dec 2014-Aug 2017).

Conducting this study has provided me with invaluable insights into research methodology, academia and bonded me with the families of my Friedreich’s ataxia patients. The important new results I have found in my research should be out very soon.