Joseph M. Savitt, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurology
About Joseph M. Savitt, MD, PhDToggle accordion item
Dr. Savitt was named a "Top Doctor" in the specialty of Neurology: Seizure & Movement Disorder by Baltimore magazine in 2020.
Dr. Savitt is a Maryland native who received his undergraduate degree at Cornell University and worked part-time at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. He then attended the University of Maryland earning both his medical degree and a PhD in biochemistry. He continued his training at Johns Hopkins where he served as a neurology resident and research fellow.
He remained at Johns Hopkins as a clinical and research faculty member and also worked in a busy clinical practice in Columbia M.D. specializing in movement disorders. He joined the University of Maryland faculty in 2016 as a member of the Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders Center. There he provides care for patients with all varieties of movement disorders.
A large part of his practice includes providing botulinum toxin and deep brain stimulation therapies. He also has a special interest in cerebellar ataxia and sees numerous patients with this relatively rare condition.
In addition to providing clinical care, Dr. Savitt also has performed numerous clinical trials in Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and other movement disorders. He has authored numerous chapters and peer-reviewed articles and is a frequent speaker at both patient and physician attended seminars.
1. Skofitsch G, Savitt JM, Jacobowitz DM. Suggestive Evidence for a Functional Unit between Mast Cells and Substance P Fibers in the Rat Diaphragm and Mesentery. Histochem. 1985; 82: 5-8.
2. Skofitsch G, Zamir N, Helke CJ, Savitt JM, Jacobowitz DM. Corticotrophin Releasing Factor-Like Immunoreactivity in Sensory Ganglia and Capsaicin Sensitive Neurons of the Rat Central Nervous System: Colocalization with Other Neuropeptides. Peptides. 1985; 6: 307-318.
3. Johannessen JN, Savitt JM, Markey CJ, Bacon JP, Weisz A, Hanselman DS, Markey SP. The Development of Amine Substituted Analogues of MPTP as Unique Tools for the Study of MPTP Toxicity and Parkinson’s Disease. Life Sciences. 1987; 40: 697-704.
4. Fishman PS, Savitt JM. Selective Localization by Neuroglia of Immunoglobulin G in Normal Mice. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. 1989; 48(2): 212-220.
5. Fishman PS, Savitt JM. Transsynaptic Transfer of Retrogradely Transported Tetanus Protein-Peroxidase Conjugates. Experimental Neurology, 1989; 106: 197-203.
6. Fishman PS, Savitt JM, Farrand DA. Enhanced CNS Uptake of Systemically Administered Proteins Though Conjugation with Tetanus C-Fragment. J. Neurol. Sci. 1990; 98: 311-325.
7. Savitt JM, Trisler D, Hilt DC. Molecular Cloning of TOPAP: A Topographically Graded Protein in the Developing Chick Visual System. Neuron. 1995; 14: 253-261.
8. Figueiredo DM, Hallewell RA, Chen LL, Fairweather NF, Dougan G, Savitt JM, Parks DA, Fishman PS. Delivery of Recombinant Tetanus-Superoxide Dismutase Proteins to Central Nervous System Neurons by Retrograde Axonal Transport. Experimental Neurology. 1997; 145: 546-54.
9. Von Coelln R, Thomas B, Savitt JM, Lim KL, Sasaki M, Hess EJ, Dawson VL, Dawson TM. Loss of locus coeruleus neurons and reduced startle in parkin mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2004;101 (29):10744-9.
10. Savitt JM, Jang SS, Mu W, Dawson VL, Dawson TM. Bcl-x is required for the proper development of the mouse substantia nigra. J. Neurosci. 2005; 25: 6721-6728.
11. Von Coelln R, Thomas B, Andrabi SA, Lim KL, Savitt JM, Saffary R, Stirling W, Bruno K, Hess EJ, Lee MK, Dawson VL, Dawson TM. Inclusion Body Formation and Neurodegeneration are Parkin-independent in a Mouse Model of Alpha-Synucleinopathy. J. Neurosci. 2006; 26(14):3685-3696
12. Savitt JM, Dawson VL, Dawson TM. Diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson disease, molecules to medicine. J. Clin. Invest. (2006) 116: 1744-1754.
13. Biskup S, Moore DJ, Celsi F, Higashi S, West AB, Andrabi SA, Kurkinen K, Yu SW, Savitt JM, Waldvogel HJ, Faull RL, Emson PC, Torp R, Ottersen OP, Dawson TM, Dawson VL. Localization of LRRK2 to membranous and vesicular structures in mammalian brain. Ann. Neurol. 2006; 60(5):557-569.
14. The NINDS NET-PD Investigators. A Randomized Clinical Trial of Coenzyme Q10 and GPI-1485 in Early Parkinson Disease. Neurology. 2007; 68(1): 20-8.
15. Luo W, Wickramasinghe SR, Savitt JM, Griffin JW, Dawson TM, Ginty, DD. A hierarchical NGF signaling cascade controls Ret-dependent and Ret-independent events during development of non-peptidergic DRG neurons. Neuron. 2007; 54: 739-754.
16. The Parkinson Study Group. The Mixed Lineage Kinase Inhibitor CEP-1347 Fails to Delay Disability in Early Parkinson’s Disease. Neurology. 2007; 69:1480-1490
17. Schwarzschild MA, Schwid SR, Marek K, Watts A, Lang AE, Oakes D, Shoulson I, Ascherio A; Parkinson Study Group PRECEPT Investigators, Hyson C, Gorbold E, Rudolph A, Kieburtz K, Fahn S, Gauger L, Goetz C, Seibyl J, Forrest M, Ondrasik J. Serum urate as a predictor of clinical and radiographic progression in Parkinson’s disease. Arch Neurol 2008; 65(6) 716-23.
18. Tsang AKH, Lee Y, Ko HS, Savitt JM, Pletnikova O, Troncoso JC, Dawson, VL, Dawson TM, Chung, KK. S-nitrosylation of XIAP compromises neuronal survival in Parkinson's disease. PNAS. 2009 106(12) 4900-5.
19. Andrews Z, Erion D, Beiler R, Liu Z, Abizaid A, Zigman J, Elsworth JD, Savitt JM, DiMarchi R, Tschop M, Elmquist J, Roth R, Gao X, Horvath T. "Ghrelin promotes nigrostriatal dopamine function via an UCP2-dependent mitochondrial mechanism" J. Neurosci. 2009 29(45) 14057-65.
20. Marras C, Lang AE, Eberly SW, Oakes D, Fahn S, Schwid SR, Hyson C, Shoulson I; Parkinson Study Group DATATOP and PRECEPT investigators. “A comparison of treatment thresholds in two large Parkinson's disease clinical trial cohorts” Movement Disorders 2009 15; 24(16) 2370-8
21. Ravina B, Tanner C, Dieuliis D, Eberly S, Flagg E, Galpern WR, Fahn S, Goetz CG, Grate S, Kurlan R, Lang AE, Marek K, Kieburtz K, Oakes D, Elliott R, Shoulson I; Parkinson Study Group LABS-PD “ A longitudinal program for biomarker development in Parkinson Disease: a feasibility study. Movement Disorders 24 (14) 2081-2090. 2009.
22. Z. Mari, R. Von Coelln, J. Savitt, F. Lenz, L. Marsh. Dopamine dysregulation syndrome (D.D.S.): worse after bilateral STN DBS? Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, Volume 15, Supplement 2, December 2009, Page S100
23. Schwid SR, Bausch J, Oakes D, Schuchter L, Tanner C, Forrest M, Lang AE, Shoulson I; PSG PRECEPT Investigators, Shoulson I, Hyson C, Oakes D, Flagg E, Rudolph A, Kieburtz K, Lang A, Fahn S, Gauger L, Goetz C. Cancer incidence in a trial of an antiapoptotic agent for Parkinson's disease. Movement Disorders 25(12): 1801-8. 2010
24. Marras C, McDermott MP, Marek K, Rochon P, Naglie G, Tanner CM, Rudolph A, Shoulson I, Lang AE; Parkinson Study Group DATATOP and PRECEPT investigators. Predictors of time to requiring dopaminergic treatment in 2 Parkinson's disease cohorts. Mov Disord. 2011 Mar;26(4):608-13. doi: 10.1002/M.D.s.23581
25. Elble RJ, Suchowersky O, Shaftman S, Weiner WJ, Huang P, Tilley B; NINDS NET-PD Investigators Impact of belief in neuroprotection on therapeutic intervention in Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 2010 Jun 15;25(8):1082-6. doi: 10.1002/M.D.s.22997
26. Chuang JC, Perello M, Sakata I, Osborne-Lawrence S, Savitt JM, Lutter M. Zigman JM. Ghrelin mediates stress-induced food-reward behavior in mice. J Clin Invest. 2011;121(7):2684–2692. doi:10.1172/JCI57660.
27. Asamoah V, vonCoelln R, Savitt J, Lee, LA. The Many Faces of Celiac Disease. Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011 7(8): 549-554 PMC3264941.
28. Shamim E, Chu J, Scheider L, Savitt J, Jinnah H, Hallett M. Extreme Task-Specificity in Writer’s Cramp. Mov Disord. 2011 Sep;26(11):2107-9. doi: 10.1002/M.D.s.23827.
29. Savitt J, Singh D, Zhang C, Chen LC, Folmer J, Shokat KM, Wright WW. The In Vivo Response of Stem and Other Undifferentiated Spermatogonia to the Reversible Inhibition of GDNF Signaling in the Adult. Stem Cells. 2012 Jan 9. doi: 10.1002/stem.1028.
30. Ahmed I, Liang Y, Schools S, Dawson V, Dawson TM, Savitt JM. Development and characterization of a new Parkinson disease model resulting from impaired autophagy. J. Neurosci. Nov 2012, 32(46):16503-16509.
31. Elm JJ; NINDS NET-PD Investigators. Design innovations and baseline findings in a long-term Parkinson's trial: the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Exploratory Trials in Parkinson's Disease Long-Term Study-1. Mov Disord. 2012 Oct;27(12):1513-21. doi: 10.1002/M.D.s.25175. PMID: 23079770
32. Amini M, Ma C, Farazifard R, Zhang Y, Vanderluit J, Zoltewicz JS, Hage F, Savitt J, Lagace D, Slack R, Beique JC, Greer P, Bergeron R, Park D. Conditional disruption of calpain in the CNS alters dendrite morphology, impairs LTP, and promotes neuronal survival following injury. J. Neurosci. Mar 2013, 33(13) 5773-5784
33. Fleming MS, Vysochan A, Paixao S, Niu J, Klein R, Savitt JM, Luo W. Cis and trans RET Signaling Control the Survival and Central Projection Growth of Rapidly Adapting Mechanoreceptors. Elife 2015; 10.7554/eLife.06828
1. Markey SP, Markey CJ, Savitt JM, Bacon JP, Johannessen JN. Search for Environmental Neurotoxins Related to MPTP. Preparation of Antibodies to MPTP and MPP. In MPTP: A Neurotoxin Producing a Parkinsonian Syndrome, ed. S.P. Markey, N. Castagnoli, A.J. Trevor, and I.J. Kopin. 487-493. Orlando, FL: Academic Press, Inc., 1986.
2. Savitt JM. “Molecular Cloning of TOPAP: A Marker of Cell Position in the Developing Visual System.” Thesis Publication. UMI, Ann Arbor, MI.Number 9428418, 1996.
3. Savitt JM, Dawson VL, Dawson TM. “Parkinson Disease: Molecular Insights”, In Molecular Neurology, ed. SG Waxman. 221-240, Burlington MA: Elsevier Academic Press, 2007.
4. Jinnah HA, Savitt JM “Movement Disorders,” In the Johns Hopkins Internal Medicine Board Review”
2008-2009 2nd edition, ed, Miller RG, Ashar BH, Sisson. 545-552, Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier, 2008.
5. Von Coelln, R, Jinnah H.A., Savitt JM “Movement Disorders,” In the Johns Hopkins Internal Medicine Board Review” 2010-2011 3rd edition, ed, Miller RG, Ashar BH, Sisson. 484-492, Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier, 2010.
6. Savitt JM “Cerebellar Ataxia” in Handbook of Movement Disorders. Editors: Richard Dewey, Shilpa Chitnis, Oxford University Press, 2011.
7. Smyth S, Von Coelln R, Savitt JM “Movement Disorders,” In the Johns Hopkins Internal Medicine Board Review” 2011-2012 4th edition, ed, Miller RG, Ashar BH, Sisson. 484-492, Philadelphia, PA Mosby Elsevier, 2011.
8. Rosenthal, LS, Smyth SF, Savitt JM. A Zebra Can Change Its Stripes: A Case of Inherited Ataxia. And Smyth SF, Rosenthal, LS, Savitt JM. A Case of Calcium-Induced Marital Stress. “In Movement Disorders Unforgettable Cases and Lessons from the Bedside” 2012, ed by Hubert Fernandez and Marcelo Merello, Demos Medical NY.
“Treatment and Management of PD” NPF Symposium, Virginia 2007.
“Parkinson Disease, Associated Symptoms.” Patient Symposium, 2009. Virginia.
“Alpha- Synuclein and Parkin: Are they interacting?” Movement Disorder Society, Kyoto Japan, 2006.
“An Autophagy-Based Model of Parkinson Disease” University of Maryland, Baltimore M.D. 2009.
“An Autophagy-Based Model of Parkinson Disease” Albany Medical Center, Albany NY 2009.
“Ataxia Center at Johns Hopkins” National Ataxia Foundation, medical meeting. Rockville, M.D. 2010.
“Novel Neurotrophic and Autophagic Models of Parkinson Disease” Grand Rounds UTSW 2010.
“Levodopa/Carbidopa Intestinal Gel the Johns Hopkins Experience” Baltimore, M.D. 2010.
“Novel Mouse Models of Parkinson Disease” Biochem./ Mol. Biol. Public Health, Baltimore 2010.
“Ataxia Center Update” National Ataxia Foundation, medical meeting. Rockville, M.D. 2011.
“Movement Disorders in the Aged,” Copper Ridge Institute Grand Rounds 2012, Sykesville M.D..
“Movement Disorders in the Aged,” Springfield Hospital Grand Rounds 2012, Sykesville, M.D..
“Medications and Therapies for Ataxia,” National Ataxia Foundation, 2012 San Antonio, Texas.
“New Developments in Parkinson Disease: Springfield Hospital Grand Rounds 2013, Sykesville, M.D..
“Update on Ataxia, Parkinson Disease and Tremor”: The Neurology Center, 2014, Rockville, M.D.
“Ataxia Discussion Leader” Johns Hopkins Movement Symposium, 2014, Baltimore, M.D..
“ Non-Motor Symptoms in Parkinson Disease: PFNCA Symposium, falls Church Va, 2015.
UM Charles Regional Medical Center
University of Maryland Medical Center
Member of UM Faculty Physicians, Inc.
EducationToggle accordion item
University of Maryland School of Medicine, 1997
University of Maryland Medical Center, 1998
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2001
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine - Neurodegenerative Disease, 2003
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology - Neurology, 2002