Alexandra Nelson, MD, PhD

Neurologist

Dr. Alexandra Nelson is a neurologist who cares for patients with disorders that affect both movement and cognition, such as Huntington's disease, spinocerebellar ataxia and atypical parkinsonism. She also works closely with her patients' families. She is a member of the clinical and research team at UCSF's Memory and Aging Center and Huntington's Disease Clinic, designated a center of excellence by the Huntington's Disease Society of America.

As both a neuroscientist and behavioral neurologist, Nelson is particularly interested in understanding neurodegenerative movement disorders, conditions in which progressive nerve-cell degeneration can diminish both mental and physical function. Her laboratory team studies the cells and circuits involved in movement disorders. She hopes her work will help distinguish brain regions, cells and patterns of brain activity that promote normal movement from those that produce abnormal movement, allowing development of more focused treatments.

Nelson earned her medical degree as well as a doctorate in neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, where she studied cerebellar motor learning. She then completed a residency in neurology at UCSF and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Gladstone Institutes, where she investigated specific neurological circuits involved in Parkinson's disease and dystonia, or abnormal muscle tone.

Nelson joined the UCSF faculty in 2014. She is an assistant professor of neurology and the Richard and Shirley Cahill Endowed Chair in Parkinson's Disease Research. She belongs to the Society for Neuroscience, American Neurological Association, International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society and Huntington Study Group.

Clinics

Huntington's Disease Clinic
1500 Owens St., Suite 320
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2057
Fax: (415) 353-8292

Hours: Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Memory and Aging Center
1500 Owens St., Suite 320
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2057
Fax: (415) 353-8292

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Board Certification

Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Academic Title

Assistant Professor

More about Alexandra Nelson

Education

UC San Diego, Ph.D., Neuroscience 2006
UC San Diego School of Medicine 2006

Residencies

UCSF, Neurology 2010

Fellowships

Gladstone Institutes 2014

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Ngo K, Aker M, Petty LE, Chen J, Cavalcanti F, Nelson AB, Hassin-Baer S, Geschwind MD, Perlman S, Italiano D, Laganą A, Cavallaro S, Coppola G, Below JE, Fogel BL. Expanding the global prevalence of spinocerebellar ataxia type 42. Neurol Genet. 2018 Jun; 4(3):e232.
  2. Girasole AE, Lum MY, Nathaniel D, Bair-Marshall CJ, Guenthner CJ, Luo L, Kreitzer AC, Nelson AB. A Subpopulation of Striatal Neurons Mediates Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia. Neuron. 2018 Feb 21; 97(4):787-795.e6.
  3. Nelson AB, Faulstich M, Moghadam S, Onori K, Meredith A, du Lac S. BK Channels Are Required for Multisensory Plasticity in the Oculomotor System. Neuron. 2017 Jan 04; 93(1):211-220.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.