Huntington’s Disease Center of Excellence at Stanford
We are proud to be named a Huntington’s disease Center of Excellence at Stanford University! The HDSA Centers of Excellence provide a multidisciplinary team approach to Huntington’s disease care. Patients benefit from expert neurologists, psychiatrists, social workers, therapists, counselors and other professionals who have extensive experience working with families affected by HD and who work collaboratively to help families plan the best HD care program throughout the course of the disease. Stanford is part of a prestigious network of 55 HDSA Centers of Excellence across the United States.
Sharon Sha, MD, MS
Director, Huntington's Disease Center of Excellence
Clinical Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Dr. Sharon Sha is a Clinical Professor at Stanford University. In addition to LBD RCOE Co-Director, she is Associate Vice Chair of Clinical Research for the Department of Neurology, Director of the Huntington’s disease and Ataxia Clinic, clinical core co-leader of the Stanford ADRC, the founding Director of the Stanford Behavioral Neurology Fellowship and leads the clinical trials for the Memory Disorders division. The majority of her clinical and research time is devoted to caring for patients with behavioral neurodegenerative disorders, finding treatments for them, and training the next generation to do the same.
Kyan Younes, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Dr. Kyan Younes is a behavioral and cognitive neurologist. He cares for people living with memory, language, executive, visuospatial, behavioral, or psychiatric symptoms. He completed an epilepsy research fellowship at Case Western Reserve University, a neurology residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and a behavioral neurology fellowship at the University of California San Francisco. His recent research projects focused on characterizing patients with right anterior temporal degeneration and on understanding the role of the glymphatic system in neurodegenerative illnesses. His broad focus involves implementing various neuroimaging approaches to achieve early and accurate diagnosis of patients with neurodegenerative diseases.
Laurice Yang, MD, MHA
Clinical Associate Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Dr. Laurice Yang received her bachelor’s degree in Molecular Cell Biology at the University of California in Berkeley. Subsequently, she earned a master’s degree in Health Administration at the University of Southern California where she received the high honor as a Dean Merit Scholar. She went on to obtain her medical degree from the University of Vermont and completed her neurology residency at the University of Southern California where she was appointed Neuroscience Chief Resident and spent the year revamping the entire medical student/resident education curriculum. She completed her clinical training as a movement disorders fellow at the University of California in Los Angeles.
Dr. Laurice Yang is a board certified neurologist, specializing in the diagnosis of movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, atypical parkinsonian disorders, Essential Tremor, and Huntington’s disease.
Dr. Yang also has a background in healthcare administration and had interned in marketing and HR at several community hospitals before starting her medical degree. She is currently Associate Physician Improvement Leader, the Assistant Clinic Chief and the Associate Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Yang is also passionate about quality improvement education. She is currently the Co-Executive Director of CELT (Clinical Effectiveness Leadership Training Program) at Stanford which is a leadership and quality improvement course that has graduated over 2000 participants since its inception in 2014. She also has been teaching quality improvement at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) where she was an invited speaker in 2022 and 2023 to discuss quality improvement methodology and leadership skills. She is also part of the AAN Quality Measures Subcommittee where she is involved in creating national guidelines for both inpatient and outpatient neurology.
Jacinda Sampson, MD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Dr. Jacinda Sampson received her MD and a PhD in biochemistry from University of Alabama at Birmingham, and completed her neurology residency and neurogenetics fellowship at the University of Utah. She served at Columbia University Medical Center prior to joining Stanford University Medical Center in 2015. Her areas of interest include myotonic dystrophies, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and neurogenetic disorders such as neurofibromatosis, hereditary spastic paraparesis, spinocerebellar ataxia, among others. She is interested in clinical trials for treatment of neurogenetic disorders, and is the clinical application of next-generation genomic sequencing to genetic testing.
Maya Katz, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Dr. Maya Katz specializes in treating patients with Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia and other movement disorders. She is dedicated to taking a comprehensive approach to well-being and to understanding what matters most to her patients and their families. She is a pioneer of integrating palliative care into the treatment of advanced movement disorders; this interdisciplinary approach addresses the physical, psychosocial, spiritual and practical distress caused by serious illness, and has been shown to significantly improve quality of life in people with Parkinson's disease and related disorders.
In addition, Dr. Katz is passionate about improving access to neurological care in under-resourced areas. In medical school, she co-founded the Weill Cornell Community Clinic, a free clinic for uninsured and underinsured patients in New York City. As a founding member of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society Telemedicine Task Force, she co-founded the Asynchronous Consultation for Movement Disorders (ACMD) program, whose mission is to provide movement disorder specialty consultation services to providers in under-resourced areas of the world.
Dr. Katz received her Medical Degree from Cornell University. She completed her residency in Neurology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she was appointed Chief Resident during her fourth year of residency. She then completed her Movement Disorders Fellowship at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center.
John Barry, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences (by courtesy)
Dr. Barry, director of the Neuropsychiatry and Psychotherapy Clinics, has a special interest in neuropsychiatric problems of people with dementia. He directs the UCNS-accredited Stanford Neuropsychiatry Fellowship Program and is consultant to the Stanford Center on Memory Disorders and the Stanford Movement Disorders Center.
Sepideh Bajestan, MD, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Carly Siskind, MS, LCGC
Senior Genetic Counselor
Clinical Associate Professor (Affiliated)
Before joining the neuromuscular team in 2011, Carly Siskind worked in neurogenetics at Wayne State University in Detroit. She sees patients both at Stanford Hospital and Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Ms. Siskind is a Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology (Affiliated). She has been working in Huntington disease clinics since 2012, and is active in research around genetic counseling for HD.
Ms. Siskind obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan with a major in Biology, minor in Global Change and a teaching certificate for high school science. She obtained her Master’s degree from Northwestern University in Chicago. She was board certified by the National Society of Genetic Counselors in 2009 and licensed by the state of California since 2011.
Andrea Hanson-Kahn, MS
Clinical Associate Professor
Dept of Genetics and Dept of Pediatrics
Angela Bayot Asilo RN, BSN
RN Coordinator, Neuroscience
Tashina Fuelling, MPT
Physical Therapist II
Jesse Klimek, DPT, NCS
Physical Therapist II
Kristin Morris, PT, DPT, NCS
Physical Therapist III
Ellese Miller, PT, DPT, NCS
Physical Therapist II
Diego Rodriguez, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist II
Emily Spear, PT, DPT
Pamela Triano, PT, NCS
Assistant Manager, Physical Therapist
Alyssa Nolff, MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist II
Lisa Hanano, MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist III
Jennifer Williams, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist II
Julie Hicks, MA, CCC-SLP
Senior Speech-Language Pathologist II
Sarah Stranberg, MA, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist III
Huntington's Disease - Best Local Resources
- local support groups in Northern and Central California can be found in El Cerrito, Palo Alto, Sacramento. Most groups meet monthly. Each group has its own contact person and meeting approach.
- Online Huntington's disease support groups. Sign up here: HDSA Support Groups
- If you are not a patient who is or will be treated at Stanford, but want more information about Huntington's disease, please contact the HDSA social worker:
Lisa Kjer-Mooney, LCSW
HDSA Center of Excellence Social Worker, UC Davis Medical Center
HDSA Northern California Chapter Social Worker
916-734-6277, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- HDSA San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate FB page
- HDSA Linkedin
- HDSA San Francisco Affiliate Twitter
Huntington's Outreach Project for Education, at Stanford, based at Stanford University
- online information on HD basics, genetics, medications, research updates, and managing HD. This student-run project is dedicated to making scientific information about HD more readily accessible to patients and the public.
The HOPES Stanford student-run organization and their spotlight on us as a center of excellence (http://web.stanford.edu/group/hopes/cgi-bin/hopes_test/the-stanford-center-of-excellence/)
Huntington’s Disease Society of America Palo Alto Support Group. This support group provides a safe place to learn about Huntington’s disease, share experiences and resources, and find support from others who understand what it means to have Huntington’s disease in the family. Second Tuesday of each month, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. First Baptist Church of Palo Alto. 305 N. California Ave, Palo Alto, CA, 94301. For more information, contact Andrea Kwan (firstname.lastname@example.org), support group facilitator.
Huntington's Disease - Best National Resources
- introduction to HD research news
Huntington Study Group, based in New York. Contact: Tollfree phone 800-487-7671
The Family Caregiver Alliance, providing help for caregivers of patients with chronic neurologic disease
Helpful article on swallowing precautions: https://www.med.or.jp/english/journal/pdf/2011_01/035_038.pdf
Useful document to help discuss end of life issues with your loved ones: The 5 wishes for end of life (https://www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes.php)
Parrish MC, Hanson-Kahn A, Srinivasan V, Grimes KV. Preventive drugs for Huntington's disease: A choice-based conjoint survey of patient preferences. J Clin Transl Sci. 2022; 6(1):e35.
Positive Attitudes and Therapeutic Misconception Around Hypothetical Clinical Trial Participation in the Huntington's Disease Community. Cotter K, Siskind CE, Sha SJ, Hanson-Kahn AK.J Huntingtons Dis. 2019;8(4):421-430. doi: 10.3233/JHD-190382.PMID: 31594242
"This could be me": exploring the impact of genetic risk for Huntington's disease young caregivers. Dondanville DS, Hanson-Kahn AK, Kavanaugh MS, Siskind CE, Fanos JH.J Community Genet. 2019 Apr;10(2):291-302. doi: 10.1007/s12687-018-0395-z. Epub 2018 Nov 14.PMID: 30430455
Egocentric and allocentric visuospatial working memory in premotor Huntington’s disease: A double dissociation with caudate and hippocampal volumes. Possin KL, Kim H, Geschwind MD, Moskowitz T, Johnson ET, Sha SJ, Apple A, Xu D, Miller BL, Finkbeiner S, Hess CP, Kramer JH. Neuropsychologia; 2017;101:57-64 *Participated in critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, acquisition of data
Impact of Huntington Disease Gene-Positive Status on Pre-Symptomatic Young Adults and Recommendations for Genetic Counselors. Gong P, Fanos JH, Korty L, Siskind CE, Hanson-Kahn AK. J Genet Couns. 2016 Dec;25(6):1188-1197. doi: 10.1007/s10897-016-9951-z. Epub 2016 Apr 22.PMID: 27103420
The impact of oculomotor functioning on neuropsychological performance in Huntington disease. Carvalho JO, Long JD, Westervelt HJ, et al. [PREDICT-HD Investigators and Coordinators of the Huntington’s Study Group, including Sha S]. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2016; 38(2):217-26
Motor onset and diagnosis in Huntington disease using the diagnostic confidence interval. Liu D, Long JD, Zhang Y, et al. [PREDICT-HD Investigators and Coordinators of the Huntington’s Study Group, including Sha S]. J Neurol. 2015;262(12):2691-8
Multivariate clustering of progression profiles reveals different depression patterns in prodromal Huntington disease. Kim JI, Long JD, Mills JA, et al. [PREDICT-HD Investigators and Coordinators of the Huntington’s Study Group, including Sha S]. Neuropsychology 2015;29(6):949-60
Kim JI, Long JD, Mills JA, et al. [PREDICT-HD Investigators and Coordinators of the Huntington’s Study Group, including Sha S]. Eur J Hum Genet. 2015; 23(11):1584-7
Tracking motor impairments in the progression of Huntington’s disease. Long JD, Paulsen JS, Marder K, et al. [Researchers of the PREDICT-HD Huntington’s Study Group, including Sha S]. Mov Disord 2014; 29(3):311-9
Prediction of manifest Huntington’s disease with clinical and imaging measures: a prospective observational study. Paulsen JS, Long JD, Ross CA, et al. [PREDICT-HD Investigators and Coordinators of the Huntington Study Group, including Sha S]. Lancet Neurol 2014; 13(12): 1193-201
Quantitative 7T phase imaging in premanifest Huntington disease. Apple AC, Possin KL, Satris G, Johnson E, Lupo JM, Jakary A, Wong K, Kelley DA, Kang GA, Sha SJ, Kramer JH, Geschwind MD, Nelson SJ, Hess CP. AJNR 2014; 35(9):1707-13
Executive Functions in Premanifest Huntington’s Disease. You SC, Geschwind MD, Sha SJ, Apple A, Satris G, Wood KA, Johnson ET, Gooblar J, Feuerstein JS, Finkbeiner S, Kang GA, Miller BL, Hess CP, Kramer JH, Possin KL. Movement Disorders 2014; 29(3):405-9
Regional atrophy associated with cognitive and motor function in prodromal Huntington disease. Aylward EH, Harrington DL, Mills JA, et al. [PREDICT-HD Investigators and Coordinators of the Huntington’s Study Group, including Sha S]. J Huntington Dis 2013;2(4):477-89
Deficits in stepping response time are associated with impairments in balance and mobility in people with Huntington disease. Goldberg A, Schepens SL, Feely SM, Garbern JY, Miller LJ, Siskind CE, Conti GE.J Neurol Sci. 2010 Nov 15;298(1-2):91-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2010.08.002.PMID: 20804986
Challenges assessing clinical endpoints in early Huntington disease. Paulsen JS, Wang C, Duff K, et al. [PREDICT-HD Investigators of the Huntington Study Group, including Sha S]. Mov Disord 2010;25(15):2595-603