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Anne-Marie Wills MD MPH is a Neurologist specializing in neurodegenerative disease, such as Parkinson's Disease, PSP, and ALS. She received her BA from Princeton University, her MD from Columbia College Physicians & Surgeons, and her MPH 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). She is also investigating the effects of exercise interventions for neurodegenerative diseases.
She is the director of the CurePSP Center of Care at MGH which provides multidisciplinary care for people with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. She is a member of the Movement Disorders Society, the Parkinson’s Study Group (PSG), the NorthEast ALS Consortium, and the American Academy of Neurology. She is co-director of the Genes and Environment Working Group of the PSG, co-founder of the Atypical Parkinsonian Disorders working group of the PSG and is the PI of several clinical trials in Parkinson’s disease and PSP.
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). She has shown that weight loss is associated with worse disease progression in Parkinson's disease (Wills et al. JAMA Neurology, 2016). She is also the Principal Investigator of several Parkinson's Disease clinical trials testing exercise interventions in PD and the director of the MGH CurePSP Center of Care for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.
View my most recent publications at PubMed
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 Zárate 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
Wills AM, Pérez A, et. Association Between Change in Body Mass Index, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale Scores, and Survival Among Persons With Parkinson Disease. JAMA Neurol. 2016 Mar;73(3):321-8.
While weight loss is common in Parkinson’s patients, results of a study led by an MGH investigator could suggest that weight loss early in the course of the disease signifies a more serious form of the neurodegenerative disorder.
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.
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.
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