Profile Summary

Medical Qualification: MBBS, DNB (Neurology), MD (Internal Medicine), Fellowship in Clinical Epileptology (Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio), Fellowship in Invasive Epileptology (Montreal Neurological Institute, Canada)

Designation: Director, Neurology


Dr. Joy Desai obtained his MBBS degree from the B J Medical College, Ahmedabad in 1987 and gathered 3 gold medals for academic excellence during this tenure. He then obtained his MD in Internal Medicine from the same Institute and was a Gold Medal recipient during this post-graduation. He then came to Mumbai and obtained his DNB in Neurology from Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre in 1995 under the tutelage of Professor Noshir H Wadia, Dr Anil Desai and Professor Sarosh Katrak.

Dr. Desai subsequently spent 3 years as a Senior Registrar at The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London, UK. He worked with Professor Michael Swash and returned to India in 1999 and joined the Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre as a Consultant in Neurology. He spent brief periods of 6 months each at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA and the Montreal Neurological Institute, Canada in 2000 & 2005 respectively. From 2000 onwards he was responsible for running the Epilepsy Clinic every Thursday at the Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre and performing presurgical evaluation of patients with refractory epilepsy. During this period he was also responsible for participating in International Clinical Drug trials for newer antiseizure medications like Brivaracetam and Perampanel. He has been a DNB teacher at the Jaslok Hospital since 2004 till date and has participated in academic activities and educative lectures throughout India. Since 2014 he has developed a keen interest in the neuroscience of sleep and its ramifications on neurological health. He is interested in the neuroscience of lifestyle investment and its putative protective effects on brain health. He has been a keen advocate and a diplomat promoting sleep hygiene in the community and in the medical fraternity. Since 2018, he is the current Head and Director of the Department of Neurology at the Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre.

Awards & Publications:


  • Desai J, Varma A, Wadia N et al. HSV encephalitis or chloroquine psychosis? A case report. Bull Jas Hosp 1994; 18 (4): 07-09
  • Desai J, Swash M. Fasciculations: What do we know of their significance? Journal of the Neurological Sciences 152 Suppl. 1 (1997): S43-S48
  • Desai J, Swash M. Clinical trials of riluzole in ALS. Drugs of Today Vol 33, No 8, 1997: 595-600
  • Desai J, Sharief M, Swash M. Riluzole has no acute effects on motor unit parameters in ALS. J Neurol Sci 1998; 160 (Suppl.1): S69-S72
  • Desai J, Swash M. IgM paraproteinemia in a patient with Primary Lateral Sclerosis. Neuromuscul Disord 1999; 9(1): 38-40
  • Wadia NH, Pang J, Desai J, Mankodi A, Desai M, Chamberlain S. A clinico-genetic analysis of six Indian spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA2) pedigrees - the significance of slow saccades in diagnosis. Brain 1998; 121: 2341-2355
  • Desai J, Wadia N. Hashimoto’s encephalopathy. J Neurol Sci 1999; 163(2): 202-204
  • Desai J, Misra P, and Swash M. What is primary lateral sclerosis? J Neurol Sci 1999; 170(1): 5-10
  • Desai J, Swash M. Extrapyramidal involvement in ALS: backward falls and retropulsion. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1999; 67(2): 214-216
  • Katrak SM, Desai J. Dementia in the tropics. In “Neurology in Tropics”, Churchill Livingston/IBH; Eds. Chopra JS, and Sawhney IMS, 1998
  • Desai J, Swash M. Essentials in the diagnosis of motor neuron diseases. In “Motor Neuron Disease”, W. B. Saunders’ Major problems in Neurology series, 2002
  • Desai J, Swash M. Carpal tunnel syndrome: Quality and resource management. Muscle Nerve 1998; 21 (Suppl 7): S 34 (Abstract)
  • Bhatt M, Desai J, Mankodi A, Elias M, Wadia N. Post-traumatic akinetic rigid syndrome resembling Parkinson’s disease: A report on three patients. Mov Disord 2000; 15(2):313-317
  • Swash M, Desai J. Motor neuron disease: Nomenclature and classification. Amyotroph Lateral Scler and Other Motor Neuron Disord 2000; 1(2): 105-11
  • Bhatt MH, Desai JD, Wadia NH. Does post-traumatic “Parkinson’s disease” exist? Mov Disord 1997; Suppl 1:1(Abstract)
  • What is the diagnosis? CNS Whipple’s Disease. Desai J. CME Book of the 8th Annual Congress of the Indian Academy of Neurology; September 2000
  • Neurological Disorders & Pregnancy. Desai J and Doshi PK. CME book of the Annual Congress of Neurosurgical Society of India 2000
  • Desai J and Shah S. Neurological dysfunction in chronic liver disease: an under recognized parkinsonian-plus syndrome. Neurology 2004; Suppl (Abstract)
  • Patel AK, Patel KK, Shah HD, Desai J. Immune reconstitution syndrome presenting with cerebral varicella zoster vascultis in HIV-1 infected patient: a case report. J Int Assoc Physicians AIDS Care (Chic III).2006;5:157-160
  • Desai J. Epilepsy and Cognition. Invited Review. J Pediatr Neurosci 2008:3(1); 16-29
  • Desai J. Perspectives on interactions between antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and antimicrobial agents. Epilepsia 2008; 49 (Suppl 6):47-49
  • Randomized phase III study 306 Adjunctive perampanel for refractory partial onset seizures. Kraus GL; et al. Neurology 2012; 78(18)
  • Beevor’s Sign. Desai J. Annals of Indian Academy Of Neurology 4/2012; 15(2):94-95
  • Neurological dysfunction in hepatic disease. Desai J. Reviews in Neurology 2013: 1-7; 2013; Eds: Das SK & Singh GD
  • Bilateral pedunculopontine nucleus stimulation for progressive supranuclear palsy. Doshi PK, Desai JD, Karkera b, Wadia PM. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg 2015;93(1):59-65
  • Pure cerebellar ataxia with homozygous mutations in the PNPLA6 gene. Wiethoff S, Bettencort C, Wadia N, Desai J, et al. Cerebellum 2016; 16(1)
  • Reversible Dementias. Desai J. Reviews in Neurology 2017. Eds: Narsimhan L
  • Pitfalls in the diagnosis of Brain Death. Desai J.  Eds Chakravorty A 2022
  • Pitfalls in the diagnosis of Autoimmune Encephalitis. Desai J.  Eds. Chakravorty A 2022
  • Impact of New Anti-seizure Medications. Desai J. IAN Invited Reviews 2022
  • Sleep: Neurobiology & Applications. Desai J. Chapter in IAN Textbook 2nd Edition Eds. Khadilkar S (In Press)

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