Dr. A.F. van Rootselaar MD PhD

Scientific staff member (UD)
Main activities
Patient care, Teaching, Research
Neurology, Movement Disorders, Clinical Neurophysiology
Focus of research

The Department of Neurology performs clinical and translational research within three research themes: infection & inflammation, cerebrovascular disorders, and movement disorders. The themes are imbedded in the nine translational research programs of Amsterdam Neuroscience, the research institute of neuroscience investigators in the Amsterdam area. All staff members of the Department of Neurology are involved in research and collaborate within Neuroscience Amsterdam, with other academic and non-academic hospitals, and with international research groups.

The research of the movement disorders group focuses on improving treatment, diagnosis, and insight in pathophysiology of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, tremor, myoclonus, and dystonia. The group has a strong clinical research infrastructure to conduct large cohort studies and randomized controlled trials on interventions ranging from medication to botulinum toxin injections and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), aimed at solving burning clinical questions. Advanced neurophysiological measures and analysis techniques, intraoperative microrecording from nuclei situated deeply in the brain, and (functional) MRI are available to answer important diagnostic and pathophysiological research questions. The group is embedded in the neurodegeneration program of Amsterdam Neuroscience.

My research line 'Tremor and other movement disorders: improvement of diagnostics and treatment' aims to tailor diagnostic procedures and treatment, including targeting in DBS, to the individual patient with involuntary movements, and, to increase insight in the pathophysiology of movement disorders. Movement disorders arise from changes in neuronal networks. My research focus is on 1) improvement of diagnostics and treatment in common movement disorders based on functional and structural neuronal changes specifically related to symptoms, and 2) rare movement disorders. Another research topic is prognostication in comatose patients after cardiac arrest.

Topics include:
• Essential tremor is the most prevalent hyperkinetic movement disorder. Still, no satisfactory treatment exists. With EEG-EMG-fMRI I aim to get insight in the driving mechanisms.
• Differentiation between clinically overlapping tremor syndromes and early diagnosis can be difficult. By using the involuntary movements as an input for functional MRI analyses combined with structural imaging allows visualizing of structural and functional changes in the brain specifically related to these involuntary movements. New techniques and devices are being developed in collaboration with several technical universities and industry.
• In 2017 an alliance project started aiming to investigate cognitive and psychiatric side effects related to DBS stimulation side to improve targeting and stimulation settings, applying MEG (magneto encephalography) and DTI (tractography). This is an collaboration between AMC and VUMC movement disorders, imaging, psychiatry, neuropsychology, and clinical neurophysiology groups.
• Also, I aim to gain more insight in rare hyperkinetic movement disorders, including orthostatic tremor (OT), and improve treatment options for these patients, including DBS.
• Basic research includes linkage studies and exome sequencing in a large pedigree with a rare hyperkinetic movement disorder and pathological studies.
• Additionally, I am involved in studies concerning prognostication after cardiac arrest, specifically defining EEG criteria predicting good or poor outcome in post-anoxic encephalopathy, and the development of EEG-based treatment strategies including machine learning.


Key publications
  • Buijink AWG, van der Stouwe AMM, Broersma M, Sharifi S, Groot PFC, Speelman JD, Maurits NM, van Rootselaar AF, Motor network disruption in essential tremor: a functional and effective connectivity study. BRAIN 2015;138 (Part 10):2934-2947 [PubMed]
  • Buijink AWG, Broersma M, van der Stouwe AMM, van Wingen GA, Groot PFC, Speelman JD, Maurits NM, van Rootselaar AF, Rhythmic finger tapping reveals cerebellar dysfunction in essential tremor. PARKINSONISM RELAT D 2015;21 (4):383-388 [PubMed]
  • Buijink AWG, Caan MWA, Contarino MF, Schuurman PR, van den Munckhof P, de Bie RMA, Olabarriaga SD, Speelman JD, van Rootselaar AF, Structural changes in cerebellar outflow tracts after thalamotomy in essential tremor. PARKINSONISM RELAT D 2014;20 (5):554-557 [PubMed]
  • van der Salm SMA, Tijssen MAJ, Koelman JHTM, van Rootselaar AF, The bereitschaftspotential in jerky movement disorders. J NEUROL NEUROSUR PS 2012;83 (12):1162-1167 [PubMed]
  • Buijink AWG, Caan MWA, Tijssen MAJ, Hoogduin JM, Maurits NM, van Rootselaar AF, Decreased cerebellar fiber density in cortical myoclonic tremor but not in essential tremor. CEREBELLUM 2013;12 (2):199-204 [PubMed]
All Publications
Research programmes

Movement Disorders


Dr. A.F. van Rootselaar MD PhD
Dr. W.V. Potters PhD

PhD Students
Drs. S. Sharifi
Drs. F. Visser (SLAZ)

L. Boon (VUMC)

Prof. dr. R.M.A. de Bie (Movement Disorders)

Current research funding
  • AMC
  • Hersenstichting Nederland
  • Universiteit Twente