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Anne-Marie A. Wills, MD, MPH

To make a neuromuscular division appointment, call 617-726-3642.

  • Phone: 617-726-5532
Departments
Department of Neurology
Clinical Interests
ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)
Movement disorders
Locations
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Education
MD, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
MPH, Harvard School of Public Health
Residency, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Gender
Female
Patient Gateway
Yes, learn more
Foreign Languages
Spanish
Patient Age Group
Adult
Accepting New Patients
Yes

Biography

Anne-Marie Wills M.D. M.P.H. is a Neurologist specializing in neurodegenerative disease, such as Parkinson's Disease and A.L.S. She received her B.A. from Princeton University, her M.D. from Columbia College Physicians & Surgeons, and her M.P.H. from Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her specialty training in the Partners Neurology residency program, a combined program between Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. She has been on staff at M.G.H. since 2006.

Dr. Wills' research focuses on environmental risk factors and determinants of neurodegenerative disease progression, including nutrition, caffeine and pesticides. Her multi-center clinical trial of nutrition in ALS (funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Association) showed that a calorically-dense diet was better tolerated and led to fewer adverse events, including deaths, than a standard diet (Wills et al. The Lancet, 2014).  This study was prompted by human and animal data which showed an increase in ALS survival from obesity and weight gain. She is also the M.G.H. Investigator on several Parkinson's Disease clinical trials testing therapeutic interventions in P.D

Research

Dr. Wills' research focuses on environmental risk factors and determinants of neurodegenerative disease progression, including nutrition, caffeine and pesticides. Her multi-center clinical trial of nutrition in ALS (funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Association) showed that a calorically-dense diet was better tolerated and led to fewer adverse events, including deaths, than a standard diet (Wills et al. The Lancet, 2014).  This study was prompted by human and animal data which showed an increase in ALS survival from obesity and weight gain. She is also the M.G.H. Investigator on several Parkinson's Disease clinical trials testing therapeutic interventions in P.D.

Publications

Wills AM, Cronin S , Slowik A, et al. Meta-analysis of paraoxonase gene polymorphisms in sporadic ALS. Neurology. 2009 73(1):16-24.

Paganoni S; Deng J; Jaffa M; Cudkowicz ME; Wills AM. Body Mass Index, not dyslipidemia, is an independent predictor of survival in ALS. Muscle and Nerve. 2011 44(1):20-4

Paganoni S; Zhang M; Quiroz Z?rate A; Jaffa M; Yu H; Cudkowicz ME; Wills AM. Uric acid levels predict survival in men with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Journal of Neurology. 2012 259 (9):1923-1928.

Wills AM, Eberly S, Tennis M, et al. Caffeine consumption and risk of dyskinesia in CALM-PD. Mov Disord. 2013

Wills AM, Hubbard J, Mackline EA et al. Hypercaloric enteral nutrition in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial, The Lancet, Online Publication, 28 February 2014

Mild obesity appears to improve survival in ALS patients

Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be an exception to the rule that being overweight is a health hazard. In a retrospective study of over 400 ALS patients, MGH researchers found that those who were mildly obese survived longer than patients who were normal weight, underweight or even overweight.

High-calorie feeding may slow progression of ALS

Increasing the number of calories consumed by patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be a relatively simple way of extending their survival. A phase 2 clinical trial led by Massachusetts General Hospital physicians found that ALS patients receiving a high-calorie, high-carbohydrate tube-feeding formula lived longer with fewer adverse events than participants who received a standard formula designed maintain their weight.

Neurology & Stroke Services
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Boston, MA 02114-3117

Phone: 617-726-5532
Phone 2: 617-724-9234
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