Movement Disorders

The Division of Movement Disorders combines clinical evaluation and treatment, research, education and outreach to provide a coordinated approach to combating movement and neurodegenerative disorders.

Claudia Testa, M.D., Ph.D


Claudia Testa, M.D., Ph.D [View Image]Divisions: Adult Neurology, Movement Disorder Specialists Founder and Director of the VCU Huntington Disease Program Joan Massey Clinical Chair in Parkinson Disease Medical Director of the VCU Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center

Department: Department of Neurology

Fax: (804) 628-2455


Undergraduate Education

  • BA, Biophysics, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD
    General and Departmental Honors, Student Activities Senior Service Award with BA
    Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Epsilon Delta

Graduate Education

  • Masters of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR), Emory University, Atlanta GA
    Movement Disorders in Galactosemia; Dr. Judith Fridovich-Keil and Dr. Stewart Factor
  • MD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI
    Cum Laude; Fellow, Medical Scientist Training Program
  • PhD Neuroscience, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI
    Metabotropic glutamate receptors in the basal ganglia; Dr Anne B Young
    Cum Laude; Fellow, Medical Scientist Training Program
    1993 The Nancy Myers Anderson Fellowship, Parkinson's Disease Foundation
    1994 Individual Predoctoral National Research Service Award, NIMH
  • CPGS Certificate of Postgraduate Study (Masters), Engineering, Cambridge University, England UK
    A software interface for a parallel processing network; Dr.Simon Garth
    Completed under a Winston Churchill Foundation Scholarship for advanced study in math, science and engineering at Churchill College of Cambridge University

Post Graduate Education

  • Movement Disorders Fellow, Emory University, Atlanta GA
  • Chief Resident, Neurology, Partners Program, Boston MA
  • Resident, Partners Program, Departments of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston MA
  • Intern, Department of Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston MA
  • Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics
    Dept of Biostatistics, University of Washington
    Module One: Probability and Statistical Inference
  • Academic Healthcare Finance for Faculty
    Six week faculty development series
    Course director: Melinda Hancock, CFO VCU Health Systems


  • Board Certified in Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
    Certification # 50112; Board recertification passed 3/2011, expires 2021

Affiliate Departments

  • Physiology and Biophysics

Keywords & Interest Areas

  • Clinical and translational research in movement disorders
  • Huntington disease, essential tremor, dystonia, ataxia, Parkinson disease
  • Interaction of phenotypes and genetic risks in neurodegenerative disorders
  • Essential tremor impact of phenotyping on clinical care and molecular genetics

Practice Sites

  • NOW Center
  • ACC5

Awards & Honors

  • Grace E Harris Leadership Institute 2019 VCU Leadership Development Program for current and emerging leaders at VCU across academic and administrative units of the University and the VCU Health System.
  • Huntington Disease Society of America designation of the VCU Huntington Disease Program as an HDSA Center of Excellence for Huntington Disease
    Designation achieved first year HDSA accepting applications for new Centers
    Renewed annually 2015 - present
  • Attendee (accepted after application process), American Academy of Neurology’s Women in Leadership program at the 2016 AAN annual meeting
  • 2012-2014: MCVP Leadership Institute initial cohort
    Selected VCU medical directors and clinical leaders
  • Tremor Research Group, Nominated junior investigator attendee, TRG meeting on Essential Tremor
  • 2002-2005 Dr. George C. Cotzias Memorial Fellowship,
    American Parkinson Disease Association
  • Individual Predoctoral National Research Service Award, NIMH
  • 8/1987 - 8/1988 Winston Churchill Foundation Scholarship for advanced study in math, science, and engineering at Churchill College, Cambridge University, England
  • The Johns Hopkins University, General and Departmental Honors, Student Activities Senior Service Award with BA (Biophysics)
    Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Epsilon Delta

Professional Affiliations

  • Virginia Neurological Society
  • Tremor Research Group (TRG)
  • International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society (MDS)
  • Huntington Society Group (HSG)
  • American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
  • Society for Neuroscience (SfN)
  • International Basal Ganglia Society

Selected Peer Reviewed Publications:

  • Ross CA, Reilmann R, Cardoso F, McCusker EA, Testa CM, Stout J, Leavitt BR, Pei Z, Landwehrmeyer B, Martinez A, Levey J, Srajer T, Bang J, Tabrizi SJ (2019) Movement Disoders Society Task Force Viewpoint: Huntington's Disease Diagnostic Categories. Mov Disord Clinical Practice. In press.
  • Holman MA, Quillin J, York TP, Testa CM, Rosen AR, Norris VW (2018) The changing age of individuals seeking presymptomatic genetic testing for Huntington disease. J Genetic Counseling 27(5):1157-1166. doi: 10.1007/s10897-018-0233-9. Epub 2018 Feb 20. PMID: 29460111

    J Genet Couns. 2018 Sep;27(5):1157-1166. doi: 10.1007/s10897-018-0233-9. Epub 2018 Feb 20.
  • Bhatia KP, Bain P, Bajaj N, Elble RJ, Hallett M, Louis ED, Raethjen J, Stamelou M, Testa CM, Deuschl G and the Tremor Task Force of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (2018) Consensus statement on the classification of tremors, from the Task Force on Tremor of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. Mov Disord 33(1):75-87. doi: 10.1002/mds.27121. PMID: 29193359.
    Named author based on contributions to manuscript. First new consensus tremor classification since 1998.
  • Frank S, Stamler D, Kayson E, Claassen DO, Colcher A, Davis C, Duker A, Elmer L, Furr-Stimming E, Gudesblatt M, Hunter C, Jankovic J, Kostyk SK, Kumar R, Loy C, Mallonee W, Oakes D, Scott BL, Sung V, Goldstein J, Vaughan C, Testa CM on behalf of the Huntington Study Group / ARC-HD investigators (2017) Safety of converting from tetrabenazine to deutetrabenazine for the treatment of chorea. JAMA Neurology 74(8):977-982. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.1352. PMID: 28692723
    One of 3 authors responsible for manuscript first draft plus final revisions.
    Global Co-PI of study.
  • Hopfner F, Haubenberger D, Galpern WR, Gwinn K, Van’t Veer A, White S, Bhatia K, Adler CH, Eidelberg D, Ondo W, Stebbins G, Tanner CM, Helmich R, Lenz FA, Sillitoe RV, Vaillancourt D, Vitek JL, Louis ED, Shill HA, Frosch M, Foroud T, Kuhlenbaumer G, Singleton A, Testa CM, Hallett M, Elble R, Deuschl G (2016) Knowledge gaps and research recommendations for essential tremor. Parkinsonism Relat Disord 33:27-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2016.10.002. PMID: 27769649
    Proceedings of NIH meeting on knowledge gaps in essential tremor; invited discussant, contributed to consensus manuscript.
  • Norriss SA, Jinnah HA, Espay AJ, Klein C, Bruggemann N, Barbano RL, Malaty I, Rodriguez RL, Vidailhet M, Roze E, Reisch SG, Berman BD, LeDoux MS, Pirio Richardson S, Agarwal P, Mari Z, Ondo W, Shih LC, Fox S, Berardelli A, Testa CM, Chang FCF, Troung D, Nahab F, Xie T, Hallett M, Rosen AR, Wright LJ, Perlmutter JS (2016) Clinical and demographic characteristics related to onset site and spread of cervical dystonia. Movement Disorders 31(12):1874-1882. DOI: 10.1002/mds.26817. PMID: 27753188.
  • Haubenberger D, Abbruzzese G, Bain PG, Bajaj N, Benito-Leon J, Bhatia KP, Deuschl G, Forjaz MJ, Hallett M, Louis ED, Lyons KE, Mestre TA, Raethjen J, Stamelou M, Tan EK, Testa CM, Elble RJ (2016) Transducer-based evaluation of tremor. Mov Disord. 2016 Sep;31(9):1327-36. DOI: 10.1002/mds.26671. PMID: 27273470.
    output from International Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Society Task Force on Tremor
  • Muller SH, Girard SL, Hopfner, F, Merner ND, Bourassa CV, Lorenz D, Clark LN, Tittmann L, Soto-Ortolaza AI, Klebe S, Hallett M, Schneider SA, Hodgkinson CA, Lieb W, Wszolek ZW, Pendziwaiat M, Lorenzo-Betancor O, Poewe W, Ortega-Cubero S, Seppi K, Rajput A, Hussl A, Rajput AH, Berg D, Dion PA, Wurster I, Shuman JM, Srulijes K, Haubenberger D, Pastor P, Vilarino-Guell C, Postuma RB, Bernard G, Ladwig K-H, Dupre N, Jankovic J, Strauch K, Panisset M, Winkelmann J, Testa CM, Reischl E, Zeuner KE, Ross OA, Arzberger T, Chouinard S, Deuschl G, Louis ED, Kuhlenbaumer G, Rouleau GA (2016) Genome-wide association study in essential tremor identifies three new loci. Brain 139(Pt 12):3163-3169. DOI 10.1093/brain/aww242. PMID: 27797806.
    First major paper from the North American Essential Tremor Consortium, in collaboration with a similar European consortium
  • Forjaz MJ, Ayala A, Testa CM, Bain PG , Elble R, Haubenberger D, Rodriguez-Blazquez C, Deuschl G, Martinez-Martin P. (2015) Proposing a Parkinson's disease specific tremor scale from the MDS-UPDRS. Mov Disord 30(8):1139-43. DOI: 10.1002/mds.26271. PMID: 26096210.
    output from International Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Society Task Force on Tremor
  • Hassamal S, Waller S, Reese K, Testa C (2015) Reversible valproic acid-induced parkinsonism and cognitive impairment in an elderly patient with Bipolar Disorder I. Turkish J of Psychiatry, DOI: 10.5080/u12251

Books, Book Chapters, & Monographs:

  • Deb A, Frank S, Testa CM (2017) New symptomatic therapies for Huntington disease. In: A. Feigin and K.A. Anderson (Eds.) Huntington's Disease. Elsevier, Amsterdam. Hardcover ISBN: 9780128018934.
  • Testa, CM (2016, updated 2017) Huntington disease. In: Greenamyre JT, editor-in-chief. MedLink Neurology. San Diego: MedLink Corporation.
  • Testa, CM (2014, updated 2015, 2016, 2017) Essential tremor. In: Greenamyre JT, editor-in-chief. MedLink Neurology. San Diego: MedLink Corporation.
  • Testa, CM (2009) Tremor, essential (syndromes) in The Encyclopedia of Movement Disorders (Kompoliti K, Verhagen L, eds) Elsevier and Science Direct.
  • Testa, CM (2007) Parkinson disease genetics and pathogenesis. In Handbook of Contemporary Neuropharmacology (Sibley D, Hanin I, Kuhar M, Skolnick P, eds), pp 523-566 John Wilson & Sons, New York.
  • Testa, CM (2004) Mitochondria in movement disorders. In Movement Disorders: Neurologic Principles and Practice (Watts RL, Koller WC, eds), pp 61-86 McGraw-Hill, New York.
  • Orlando LR, Kosinski CM, Kerner JA, Testa CM, Standaert DG, Penney JB, Young AB (1997) Metabotropic glutamate receptors modulate striatal quinolinic acid toxicity. In Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors and Brain Function (Moroni M, Nicoletti F, Pelligrini-Giampietro, eds) Portland Press, London.
  • Young AB, Standaert DG, Testa CM, Wüllner U, Catania M, Penney JB (1996) Excitatory amino acid receptor distribution: quantitative autoradiographic ligand binding and in situ hybridization studies. In Excitatory Amino Acids and Synaptic Transmission, 2nd Edition (eds: Wheal H and Thomson A), pp 29-41. Academic Press Ltd., New York.
  • Penney JB, Standaert DG, Testa CM, Landwehrmeyer GB, Young AB (1995) Glutamate receptor genes in Parkinson's disease. Advances in Neurology (Battisin, Scarlato, Canceri, and Ruggierri, eds.) 69:79-86, Raven Press, New York.
  • Testa CM, Catania MV, Young AB (1994) Anatomical distribution of metabotropic glutamate receptors in mammalian brain. In The Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors, pp 99-124. Totowa, New Jersey: Humana Press.

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