Full Professor of Neurology, Department of Biomedical and NeuroMotor Sciences (DIBINEM) Alma Mater Studiorum–University of Bologna

Pietro Cortelli


I am a Neurologist with a particular interest in autonomic nervous system assessment particularly in relation to neurodegenerative disorders and with a particular focus on Multiple System Atrophy.

In addition to Multiple System Atrophy, my long-term research interests have focused on:

  • The role of the autonomic nervous system in health and disease, namely neurological control of the cardiovascular system in man with a special focus on Multiple System Atrophy.
  • Genetic and phenotypic characterization of prion diseases (Fatal Familial Insomnia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker) Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Familial Hemiplegic migraine.
  • Evaluation of autonomic circadian rhythms in relation to wake-sleep cycle in neurodegenerative disorders (namely Multiple System Atrophy, prion diseases and sleep disorders)
  • Autonomic, clinical and neurophysiological aspects of mitochondrial diseases and primary headache.

The research has received funding from various competitive (University of Bologna, MIUR, Department of Health) and charitable sources (TELETHON, MIUR, Ministry of Health, EU).

My expertise matches perfectly with the present study that is going to address noradrenergic (NA) system dysfunction in chronic insomnia. In particular, the study is going to use the clonidine suppression test to assess central NA activity using the protocol applied in my laboratory for several years and whose results have been published in scientific journals.