Justin Martello, M.D.

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Justin Martello, M.D.

Justin Martello, M.D.

Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Director

Expertise & Research Interests

  • Quality Improvement
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Neurology
  • Movement Disorders


  • M.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine

Justin Martello, M.D.

Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Director

Dr. Martello, is a board certified neurologist specializing in movement disorders and Parkinson’s Disease at ChristianaCare. He has developed Delaware's first and only comprehensive Parkinson's disease program.


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Media Appearances

Does Bipolar Disorder Raise Risk of Parkinson's?

2019-05-23 , WebMD
Those with bipolar who developed Parkinson's were nine years younger -- average age 64 -- than others who also developed Parkinson's, the study found.

"When you say there's seven times the risk, it gets scary. But it's still very few [bipolar] patients who get Parkinson's," said Dr. Justin Martello, who reviewed the findings. He's a neurologist specializing in movement disorders and Parkinson's disease at Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Del.

Martello pointed out that while the study was large, it was limited by including only people in Taiwan.

"We don't know how this would apply more globally or broadly," Martello said. "I think it's more interesting for physicians to know this and be more aware of the association."

The study was published online May 22 in the journal Neurology.

Pontone, who cowrote an accompanying editorial, and Martello said scientists have many theories -- still unproven -- about how bipolar disorder might be connected to the development of Parkinson's.

"A depressive or manic episode may do something to the brain that renders it more vulnerable" to Parkinson's over time, Pontone said.

And Martello noted that many medications used to treat bipolar disorder can trigger Parkinson's-like symptoms.

Many experts think Parkinson's is active years or decades before movement problems show up, and mood disorders such as bipolar may actually be an early symptom of Parkinson's, Pontone and Martello said.

Much more research is still needed, they agreed.

"We definitely need to look more at a global population," Martello said. "The researchers here did follow patients for 10 years, but it needs to be extended longer to see how many of these patients convert to Parkinson's down the road."

Neurosurgery in Parkinson Disease: A Brief History and Look Forward

2018-04-11 , Neurology Advisor
Although DBS, similar to all PD therapies, cannot cure, modify, or slow progression of the disease, some recent research suggests that the symptom alleviation and quality-of-life improvement it provides might lead to mild improvements in longevity, noted Justin Martello, MD, a PD and movement disorders specialist from Christiana Care Neurology Specialists in Newark, Delaware.

“It does improve function, so it may improve morbidity over time,” Dr Martello told Neurology Advisor. “It can improve a patient’s life so they can be more active, and that can infer a longer life.”

Most research is therefore focusing on comparing different DBS targets, refining DBS methods and tools, and exploring other interventions only in early phase or preclinical trials.
Selected Papers and Publications

Physical Therapist Management of Parkinson Disease: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American Physical Therapy Association

2022-04-01 , American Physical Therapy Association
A clinical practice guideline on Parkinson disease was developed by an American Physical Therapy Association volunteer guideline development group that consisted of physical therapists and a neurologist. The guideline was based on systematic reviews of current scientific and clinical information and accepted approaches for management of Parkinson disease.

Dopaminergic Therapy for Motor Symptoms in Early Parkinson Disease Practice Guideline Summary: A Report of the AAN Guideline Subcommittee

2021-11-16 , Neurology
A review of the current evidence on the options available for initiating dopaminergic treatment of motor symptoms in early-stage Parkinson disease with recommendations to clinicians.

Quality Improvement in Neurology: 2020 Parkinson Disease Quality Measurement Set Update

2021-08-03 , Neurology
The AAN initiates review of quality measures periodically to determine whether an update is warranted. Through implementation of the PD quality measures in the Axon Registrya nd in the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) program, the AAN determined that an update was necessary to improve measure specifications for the PD quality Measurement Set.

Quality Improvement in Neurology 2020 Parkinson Disease Quality Measurement Set Update

2021-08-03 , Neurology
Parkinson disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, after Alzheimer disease, and the number of individuals with PD worldwide more than doubled between 1990 and 2015. In 2016, PD affected an estimated 6.1 million people globally.

Assessment of Parkinson disease quality measures on 12-month patient outcomes

2019-10-07 , Neurology: Clinical Practice
Quality measures (QMs) exist to operationalize guidelines by measuring adherence to guidelines through documentation, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes. Studies are rare looking at the relationship between adherence to Parkinson disease (PD) QMs and patient outcomes.

Quality Improvement in Neurology

2016-02-26 , Neurology
The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) formed a work group to evaluate quality measures applicable to a general neurologist. Currently available general measurement options—such as smoking, immunization, and weight—although relevant to a wide patient population, do not, for the most part, reflect the practice of neurology.

How Long Is the Wait to See a Specialist in Parkinson’s Disease in the United States?

2016-04-18 , Neurology
To ascertain the wait time to see a specialist in PD in the US. PD patients who see a specialist have better outcomes and are more likely to receive treatment in accordance with AAN recommendations.

Evidence-Based Guideline: Management of an Unprovoked First Seizure in Adults: Report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society

2015-05-01 , Epilepsy Currents
To provide evidence-based recommendations for treatment of adults with an unprovoked first seizure. We defined relevant questions and systematically reviewed published studies according to the American Academy of Neurology's classification of evidence criteria; we based recommendations on evidence level.
External Service and Affiliations
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology