Edinburgh Research Explorer

Jon Stone

Honorary Personal Chair in Neurology, Visitor: NHS Trust Staff

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Happy to discuss via Jon.Stone@ed.ac.uk

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh
Functional Weakness
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, University of Edinburgh

Professional Qualifications

Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh, FRCP (Edin)
Membership of the Royal College of Physicians, MRCP (UK)

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseFunctional Disorders, Hysteria, Conversion Disorder, Psychogenic Disorders


Professor Jon Stone is an NHS Consultant Neurologist and Honorary Professor of Neurology in Edinburgh. He has had a research interest in functional disorders in neurology since 1999. He has published widely in the area including systematic reviews, large cohort studies, imaging studies and treatment studies. He led on new diagnostic criteria for functional disorders in DSM-5 and ICD-11 and the development of professional organisations in the area. In 2016 he co-edited the volume ‘Functional Neurologic Disorder’ (ed Hallett, Stone, Carson) Elsevier 2016 setting a new standard for a teaching and research curriculum. 

In 2009 he made a website for patients at www.neurosymptoms.org which has been translated by other neurologists in to 12 other languages and receives 60,000 visits a month. He runs a weekly clinic for patients with functional movement disorders and dissociative (non-epileptic) seizures and as of August 2012 is a National Research Strategy Clinician (NHS Scotland). In 2014 he was awarded the RCP Jean Hunter Prize for Nervous Disorders. In 2017 he was awarded the President's Medal by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He has given invited plenary sessions at the World Congress of Neurology, American Academy of Neurology and Movement Disorders Congresses as well as lectures to 18 neurology department in the UK and grand rounds at Harvard and Stanford. In 2017 he co-chaired a landmark international conference in Edinburgh on FND with 561 delegates.

In 2018 he was promoted to honorary Professor of Neurology at the University of Edinburgh. In December 2018 he received the honorary title of Adjunct Professor of Functional Disorders in Neurology at the University of Southern Denmark.

In 2019 he became founding Secretary of the new Functional Neurological Disorder Society (www.fndsociety.org).

In 2020 he was awarded the Ted M Burns Award for Humanism in Neurology by the American Brain Foundation for his work in FND.



1992 MB ChB Medicine, University of Edinburgh

1996 MRCP (UK)

2006 PhD (UK)

2006 FRCP (UK)


University of Edinburgh website at Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences: http://www.ed.ac.uk/clinical-brain-sciences/people/principal-investigators/dr-jon-stone

Self Help site for Functional Neurological Symptoms: www.neurosymptoms.org

Functional Neurological Forum - Professional Network: www.fnforum.org

Association of British Neurologists - Special Interest Group on FND (for members of ABN only): http://abnsigfd.moonfruit.com/

FND conference 2017: www.fnd2017.org

Current Research Interests

  • Functional Disorders in Neurology (also called psychogenic/conversion disorder) including functional movement disorders and dissociative (non-epileptic) seizures
  • Epidemiology and studies of new phenotypes of functional disorders in neurological practice (including cauda equina presentations, urinary retention, memory and speech disorders)
  • Mechanism and aetiology of functional disorders in neurological practice
  • Treatment studies and randomised controlled trials  including initial communication strategies, internet self help (eg www.shiftonderzoek.com), psychotherapy (eg www.codestrial.org) and physiotherapy

Research Groups

Prof Stone co-leads, with Prof Alan Carson, the Functional Disorders Research Group (FRG) within the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh

Collaborative Activity

Dr Stone collaborates with many researchers across the UK and internationally in the field of functional disorders. In 2010 He set up UKFNS a small research active group of UK researchers in this field..

My research in a nutshell

Functional disorders are one of the commonest reason for patients to see a neurologist. They include problems such as Dissociative (non-epileptic) seizures, functional movement disorders (such as tremors, spasms or jerks) and functional limb weakness.

Functional Neurological Disorders (which is sometimes abbreviated to FND) are genuine and often disabling. They relate to a disorder of nervous system functioning but not brain disease. Other terms used to describe these hidden and stigmatised disorders include conversion disorder and psychogenic disorders.

The Edinburgh team carries out clinical research on a wide range of functional disorders, looking at how common they are, why and how they happen and trialling physical and psychological treatments. These include

  • Clinical Studies of Functional Neurological Disorders including Functional Movement Disorder, Dissociative (Non-Epileptic) Seizures and Functional Urinary Retention
  • Developing and trialling new treatments including internet based treatment, physiotherapy and psychological therapies
  • Investigating the neurological and psychological mechanisms of functional disorders using modalities such as fMRI, MEG and neuropsychological studies
  • Promotion of local and global policies to increase patient information, raise public awareness in the media, reduce stigma, provide better training, service, research and classification structures

Research activities & awards

  1. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry (Journal)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

  2. FND2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

  3. Journal of Psychosomatic Research (Journal)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

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