Donald J. Crammond, PhD

Associate Professor
Associate Director, Movement Disorder Surgery

Donald Crammond




Donald Crammond, PhD, joined the Center for Clinical Neurophysiology as a staff neurophysiologist in November 1998. Dr. Crammond received his undergraduate education in physiology at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and his graduate education in neurophysiology at the University of Toronto. After postdoctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin and later at the Université de Montréal, he was appointed visiting associate scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md.

Dr. Crammond specializes in behavioral and systems-level neurophysiology, examining the neuronal substrates of higher cognitive processes such as movement planning and speech in and the functional interactions between, the cerebral cortex and basal ganglia, and the mechanisms underlying motor control and movement disorders.

Dr. Crammond is the associate director for microelectrode recording and subcortical mapping for the Movement Disorder Surgery Program at UPMC. Dr. Crammond is the chairman of the American Board of Neurophysiologic Monitoring (ABNM).

Specialized Areas of Interest

The application of neurophysiological mapping in the surgical treatment of movement disorders, functional localization in cerebral cortex; motor system physiology, peripheral nerve regeneration and intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring.

Board Certifications

American Board of Neurophysiological Monitoring

Hospital Privileges

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
UPMC Altoona
UPMC Horizon
UPMC McKeesport
UPMC Mercy 
UPMC Northwest
UPMC Passavant, Cranberry
UPMC Passavant, McCandless
UPMC Presbyterian
UPMC St. Margaret
UPMC Shadyside

Professional Organization Membership

American Clinical Neurophysiology Society
American Society for Neurophysiological Monitoring
Movement Disorder Society
Society for Neuroscience

Education & Training

BSc (Hons), Physiology, University of Glasgow, 1980
PhD, Neurophysiology, University of Toronto, 1988
Fellowship, Neurophysiology, University of Wisconsin, 1987
Fellowship, Neurophysiology, Université de Montreal, 1992
Fellowship, Clinical Neurophysiology, University of Pittsburgh, 1999

Selected Publications

Lipski WJ, DeStefino VJ Stanslaski SR, Antony AR, Crammond DJ, Cameron JL, Richardson RM. Sensing-enabled hippocampal deep brain stimulation in idiopathic nonhuman primate epilepsy. J Neurophysiol 113(2):1051-1062, 2015.

Thirumala PD, Krishnaiah B, Habeych ME, Balzer JR, Crammond DJ. Hearing outcomes after loss of brainstem auditory evoked potentials during microvascular decompression. J Clin Neurosci 22(4):659-663, 2015.

Tormenti MJ, Tomycz ND, Coffman KA, Kondziolka D, Crammond Dj, Tyler-Kabara EC. Bilateral subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation for dopa-responsive dystonia in a 6-year-old child. J Neurosurg Pediatr 7(6):650-653, 2011.

Vinjamuri R, Crammond DJ, Kondziolka D, Lee HN, Mao ZH. Extraction of sources of tremor in hand movements of patients with movement disorders. IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed 13(1):49-56, 2009.

Smith PN, Balzer JR, Khan MH, Davis RA, Crammond D, Welch WC Gerszten P, Sclabassi RJ, Kang JD, Donaldson WF. Intraoperative somato-sensory evoked potential monitoring during anterior cervical discectomy and fusion in nonmyelopathic patients--a review of 1,039 cases. Spine J 7(1):83-87, 2007.

Crammond, D. J.; Kalaska, J. F. Modulation of preparatory neuronal activity in dorsal premotor cortex due to stimulus-response compatibility. J Neurophysiol 71:1281-1284, 1994.

Kalaska JF, Crammond D. J. Cerebral cortical mechanisms of reaching movements. Science 255:1517-1523, 1992.

Crammond DJ, Kalaska JF. Neuronal activity in primate parietal cortex area 5 varies with intended movement direction during an instructed-delay period. Exp Brain Res 76:458-462, 1989.

MacKay WA, Crammond DJ. Neuronal correlates in posterior parietal lobe of the expectation of events. Behav Brain Res 24:167-179, 1987.

Crammond DJ, MacKay WA, Murphy JT. Evoked potentials from passive elbow movements. I. Quantitative spatial and temporal analysis. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 61:396-410, 1985.

A complete list of Dr. Crammond's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Research Activities

Dr. Crammond’s major clinical research interest is the study of basal ganglia and cerebral cortical interactions related to the control of movement in Parkinson’s disease, Dystonia and Essential Tremor. This is accomplished by recording neurophysiological data from micro-electrode recording (MER) in the basal ganglia and Electrocorticography (ECoG/LFP) from sensorimotor cortex, to examine the physiological relationship between basal ganglia and cortical structures. This research examines how these cortical and subcortical neural structures are involved in different aspects of movement planning and movement execution by having human subjects perform controlled behavioral choice-reaction time or speech tasks. The novel aspects are the study of how neural structures contribute to the evaluation of risk and motivation of rewarded task performance and the encoding of several aspects of speech production. As we understand more about basal ganglia physiology and cortical-basal ganglia interactions, we hope this will also help us to improve the targeting for optimal DBS placement within the basal ganglia to treat movement disorder patients and decrease the incidence of post-operative speech deficits. We are also examining how DBS placement affects post-operative DBS programming parameters and the therapeutic efficacy of DBS. We have recently discovered that subcortical neurophysiological mapping is not beneficial to DBS placement in Essential Tremor patients. 

Dr. Crammond is also the principal investigator of a Copeland Foundation funded translational research project investigating the optimal graft environment for peripheral nerve regeneration in a rodent model of sciatic nerve regeneration, and is a co-investigator in a USAMRAA/AFIRM II funded translational research project investigating the rate of peripheral nerve regeneration in a non-human primate model of long median nerve gaps. These studies apply electrophysiological techniques of using Compound Muscle Action Potential (CMAP) nerve conduction studies, Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SSEPs) and trans-cranial Motor Evoked Potentials (Tc-MEPs) in order to research the differential effect of various nerve growth factors on sensory versus motor nerves axonal regeneration. 

Dr. Crammond’s ongoing clinical research interest is to review clinical outcome data to determine the impact of various modalities of Intra-Operative Neurophysiological Monitoring (IONM) to prevent and/or reduce iatrogenic injury and to use neurophysiological mapping of the basal ganglia and cerebral cortex to map motor and language functions in various neurosurgical procedures. For example, in order to map and locate eloquent cortical areas in tumor resection, epilepsy and movement disorder surgeries.

Media Appearances

Brain Pacemaker
September 23, 2013
The Cure

How You Move Your Arm Says Something About Who You Are
July 19, 2012
NPR All Things Considered