Dr. Helen Bronte-Stewart is the John E Cahill Family Professor in the department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences. She is a neurologist, neurophysiologist and movement disorders specialist, who has used her training in mathematics and physics, bioengineering, neurology, movement disorders, and single unit electrophysiology in primates to develop a rigorous translational program in motor control research in human subjects with movement disorders. Dr. Bronte-Stewart is the Director of the Stanford Comprehensive Movement Disorders Center, the Co-Director of the Stanford Balance Center, and the Division Chief of Movement Disorders in the department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences. She directs the Human Motor Control and Neuromodulation Laboratory, where she has developed computerized, quantitative measurements of motor behavior, which are being implemented in a wide range of Movement Disorders. Her research investigates the brain’s contribution to abnormal movement in human subjects, using synchronous brain recordings and quantitative kinematics, and how these are modulated with different frequencies and patterns of neurostimulation. Dr. Bronte-Stewart’s team was the first in the United States to implant a sensing neurostimulator, from which they can record brain signals directly, and use the patient’s own neural activity to drive the first closed loop neurostimulation studies in Parkinson’s disease. This work has led to her team receiving a BRAIN Initiative grant to perform the first closed loop deep brain stimulation studies for gait impairment and freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease. She is the North America Lead Investigator for the first pivotal international trial of adaptive DBS in Parkinson’s disease – the ADAPT trial.
Dr. Helen Bronte-Stewart's laboratory research focus is human motor control and brain pathophysiology in movement disorders. The lab's overall goal is to understand the role of the basal ganglia electrical activity in the pathogenesis of movement disorders. They have developed novel computerized technology to measure fine, limb and postural movement. With these, they are measuring local field potentials in basal ganglia nuclei in patients with Parkinson's disease and dystonian and correlating brain signalling with motor behavior.