Dr. Ihtsham ul Haq is Professor of Neurology and Chief of Movement Disorders Division. His passion for the study of the brain began at Columbia University, at which he completed degrees in Bioengineering and in Philosophy. He obtained his medical degree at SUNY Downstate and his Neurology residency training at Georgetown University. After his residency he spent three years at the University of Florida’s Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration program at the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases performing his movement disorders fellowship training. He was previously Associate Professor at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery before taking his current position at UM. Highlights of his tenure at WFSM include bringing it into the NIH clinical trial research consortium (NeuroNext). His areas of expertise are Movement Disorders, Tremor, Parkinson’s disease, Parkinson’s-plus syndromes (Lewy Body Dementia, Corticobasal Degeneration, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Multiple Systems Atrophy), Dystonia, Essential Tremor, Tourette syndrome (adults), Ataxia, Chorea, non-epileptic myoclonus, and Deep Brain Simulation (DBS).
Dr. Haq is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and was selected to its Emerging Leaders Program in 2015. He currently serves on the AAN’s Division Chief subcommittee. Dr. Haq is also a member of the International Movement Disorders Society and Parkinson’s Study Groups.
His overall research interest has been in understanding and improving the care of patients with movement disorders, with a focus on technology and brain circuitry. He has been funded by the National Institute of Health, Parkinson’s Foundation, and Smallwood Foundation, as well as partnering with industry to bring better treatments to patients. His NIH funded research has included work on both common (Parkinson’s & Alzheimer’s disease) and rare disorders (A TP1A 3 post-infancy onset dystonia syndrome, or Rapid-onset Dystonia Parkinsonism). He has been performing Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgeries since 2006 and has been part of pioneering efforts to improve targeting, increase the types of devices available to patients, and expand the number of diseases that treated by the technique. In addition to using DBS to treat Parkinson’s disease, Essential Tremor, and Dystonia, he has used it to treat patients with medication-refractory Tourette’s syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Dr. Haq has also worked to advance the success of clinical trials, and shortly after being selected to the NIH Clinical Trial Methodology Course in 2017, served as the CoPI of the Wake Forest site for the NIH Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NeuroNext).
The UM Movement Disorders Division is now participating in more than 30 industry, NIH, and foundation-funded studies. With respect to DBS, UM implanted more than 90 leads this past year and were part of the pivotal trials for both Boston Scientific and Abbott’s DBS devices. Dr. Haq and the Division have also made it a focus to take concrete steps to ensure historically underrepresented patients are provided that opportunity to participate in research at UM, including pipeline programs, advocacy, and disparity research.