Professional background

Mr Ahmed Toma is a consultant neurosurgeon at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), Queen Square, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust.

Having graduated from medical school with distinction, he went on to pursue clinical neurosurgical training mostly at Queen Square where he was appointed as a consultant neurosurgeon in December 2014. He did two years research fellowship studying normal pressure hydrocephalus at Queen Square and was awarded an MD (Res.) postgraduate degree from St George’s University of London in adult hydrocephalus in 2012.

Having completed one year of interventional neuroradiology fellowship at the National hospital at Queen Square, he is one of the few vascular neurosurgeons in the UK who are dual trained both in endovascular and open surgical neurovascular techniques.

His clinical practice includes:
Adult hydrocephalus: Normal pressure hydrocephalus, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, chiari malformation, shunt dependent hydrocephalus, colloid cyst, neuro-endoscopy and shunt surgeries.

Neurovascular surgery: Clipping of cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformation surgery, spinal and cranial dural arteriovenous fistulae surgery, intracerebral haemorrhage and stroke.

Degenerative spinal conditions: back pain, sciatica / leg pain, neck pain, arm pain, radiculopathy, and myelopathy

Neuromodulation: occipital nerve stimulation


  • Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • Society of British Neurological surgeons
  • International Society for Hydrocephalus and Cerebrospinal Fluid Disorders (Board of directors’ member)
  • UK CSF advisory group
  • British neurovascular group (BNVG) and UK SAH audit steering group
  • UK CSF leak association scientific advisory group
  • Honorary associate professor in the department of brain repair and rehabilitation at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology.

Research interests

  • Cerebrospinal fluid dynamics and intracranial pressure
  • CSF biomarkers in NPH and vasospasm


  • McHugh JA, D ľAntona L, Toma AK, Bremner FD. Spontaneous Venous Pulsations Detected with Infrared Videography. J Neuroophthalmol. 2019 Aug 23. [Epub ahead of print]
  • D'Antona L, McHugh JA, Ricciardi F, Thorne LW, Matharu MS, Watkins LD, TomaAK, Bremner FD. Association of Intracranial Pressure and Spontaneous Retinal Venous Pulsation. JAMA Neurol. 2019 Sep 9. [Epub ahead of print]
  • D'Antona L, Blamey SC, Craven CL, Sewell D, Manohara S, Leemans M, Worby S,Thompson SD, Golahmadi AK, Funnell JP, Thorne L, Watkins LD, Luoma AMV, Toma AK. Early Postoperative Outcomes of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus: Results of aService Evaluation. J Neurosurg Anesthesiol. 2019 Dec 3. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Craven CL, Pradini-Santos L, Goel A, Thorne L, Watkins LD, Toma AK. Approachto Slitlike Ventricles: Parietal-Occipital versus Frontal Burr Catheter EntrySites. World Neurosurg. 2020 Mar;135:e447-e451.
  • Pradini-Santos L, Craven CL, Watkins LD, Toma AK. Ventriculoatrial ShuntCatheter Tip Migration Causing Tricuspid Regurgitation: Case Report and Review of the Literature. World Neurosurg. 2020 Jan 11;136:83-89.
  • Craven CL, Ramkumar R, D'Antona L, Thompson SD, Thorne L, Watkins LD, Toma AK. Natural history of ventriculomegaly in adults: a cluster analysis. J Neurosurg. 2019 Feb 8:1-8. doi: 10.3171/2018.8.JNS18119. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Dasgupta D, D'Antona L, Aimone Cat D, Toma AK, Curtis C, Watkins LD, Thorne L. Simulation workshops as an adjunct to perioperative care bundles in the management of external ventricular drains: improving surgical technique and reducing infection. J Neurosurg. 2018 Oct 1:1-5.
  • Craven CL, Thompson SD, Toma AK, Watkins LD. Superficial and Deep Skin Preparation with Povidone-Iodine for Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Surgery: A Technical Note. J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2019 Jan; 62(1): 123-129.
  • Craven CL, Chapman MD, D'Antona L, Thompson SD, Lakdawala N, Zetterberg H, Watkins LD, Toma AK. Lumbar drains can affect CSF biomarker levels. J Clin Pathol. 2019 Jan;72(1):91-92.
  • Funnell JP, Craven CL, Thompson SD, D'Antona L, Chari A, Thorne L, Watkins LD, Toma AK. Pulsatile versus non-pulsatile tinnitus in idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2018 Oct; 160(10): 2025-2029.
  • Smedley A, Yusupov N, Almousa A, Solbach T, Toma AK, Grieve JP. Management of incidental aneurysms: comparison of single Centre multi-disciplinary team decision making with the unruptured incidental aneurysm treatment score. Br J Neurosurg. 2018 Oct; 32(5):536-540.
  • Funnell JP, Craven CL, D'Antona L, Thompson SD, Chari A, Thorne L, Watkins LD, Toma AK. Intracranial pressure in patients with papilloedema. Acta Neurol Scand. 2018 Aug; 138(2):137-142.
  • Craven CL, Baudracco I, Thompson SD, Thorne L, Watkins LD, Toma AK. Transtentorial Distortion Syndrome: Consistent Complication Following Lateral and Fourth Ventricular Shunting in Adults. World Neurosurg. 2018 Feb; 110:e514-e519.
  • Asif H, Craven CL, Siddiqui AH, Shah SN, Matloob SA, Thorne L, Robertson F, Watkins LD, Toma AK. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension: 120-day clinical, radiological, and manometric outcomes after stent insertion into the dural venous sinus. J Neurosurg. 2018 Sep; 129(3): 723-731.
  • Adam A, Robison J, Lu J, Jose Ret al Abstracts from Hydrocephalus 2016. Fluids Barriers CNS. 2017 Jun 7; 14(Suppl 1): 15.
  • Craven CL, Baudracco I, Zetterberg H, Lunn MPT, Chapman MD, Lakdawala N, Watkins LD, Toma AK. The predictive value of T-tau and AB1-42 levels in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2017 Dec; 159(12): 2293-2300.
  • Chari A, Dasgupta D, Smedley A, Craven C, Dyson E, Matloob S, Thompson S, Thorne L, Toma AK, Watkins L. Intraparenchymal intracranial pressure monitoring for hydrocephalus and cerebrospinal fluid disorders. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2017 Oct; 159(10): 1967-1978.
  • Al-Mousa A, Bose G, Hunt K, Toma AK. Adenosine-assisted neurovascular surgery: initial case series and review of literature. Neurosurg Rev. 2019 Mar; 42(1): 15-22.
  • Matloob SA, Toma AK, Thompson SD, Gan CL, Robertson F, Thorne L, Watkins LD. Effect of venous stenting on intracranial pressure in idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2017 Aug; 159(8): 1429-1437.
  • Thompson SD, Shand Smith JD, Khan AA, Luoma AMV, Toma AK, Watkins LD. Shunting of the over 80s in normal pressure hydrocephalus. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2017 Jun; 159(6): 987-994.
  • Thompson SD, Coutts A, Craven CL, Toma AK, Thorne LW, Watkins LD. Elective ICP monitoring: how long is long enough? Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2017 Mar; 159(3): 485-490.
  • Craven CL, Toma AK, Watkins LD. Persistent hydrocephalus due to postural activation of a ventricular shunt anti-gravity device. J Clin Neurosci. 2017 Mar; 37:91-95.
  • Toma AK, Watkins LD. Surgical management of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus: a trial of a trial. Br J Neurosurg. 2016 Dec; 30(6): 605. Epub 2016 Sep 14. PubMed PMID: 27626959.
  • Craven CL, Toma AK, Mostafa T, Patel N, Watkins LD. The predictive value of DESH for shunt responsiveness in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. J Clin Neurosci. 2016 Dec; 34:294-298.
  • Craven C, Toma AK, Khan AA, Watkins LD. The role of ICP monitoring in patients with persistent cerebrospinal fluid leak following spinal surgery: a case series. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2016 Sep; 158(9): 1813-9.
  • Craven C, Asif H, Farrukh A, Somavilla F, Toma AK, Watkins L. Case series of ventriculopleural shunts in adults: a single-center experience. J Neurosurg. 2017 Jun; 126(6): 2010-2016.
  • Matloob SA, Toma AK, Thorne L, Watkins LD. Surgically managed idiopathic intracranial hypertension in adults: a single centre experience. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2015 Dec; 157(12): 2099-103.
  • Toma AK. Hydrocephalus. Surgery (Oxford). 2015 Aug. 33(8): 384–389.
  • Malem DN, Shand Smith JD, Toma AK, Sethi H, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. An investigation into the clinical impacts of lowering shunt opening pressure in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus: A case series. Br J Neurosurg. 2014 Aug 21:1-5.
  • deSouza RM, Toma A, Watkins L. Medication overuse headache – An under-diagnosed problem in shunted idiopathic intracranial hypertension patients. Br J Neurosurg. 2014 Aug 19:1-5.
  • Toma AK, Kitchen ND, Robertson F. Flow-diverting stents and segments related complications. Br J Neurosurg. 2014 Jan;28(1):139.
  • Gemmete JJ, Davagnanam I, Toma AK, Brew S, Ganesan V. Arterial ischemic stroke in children. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2013 Nov;23(4):781-98.
  • Gemmete JJ, Toma AK, Davagnanam I, Robertson F, Brew S. Pediatric cerebral aneurysms. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2013 Nov;23(4):771-9.
  • Toma AK, Davagnanam I, Ganesan V, Brew S. Cerebral arteriovenous shunts in children. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2013 Nov;23(4):757-70. Review.
  • Davagnanam I, Toma AK, Brew S. Spinal arteriovenous shunts in children. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2013 Nov;23(4):749-56. Review.
  • Toma AK, Papadopoulos MC, Stapleton S, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. Systematic review of the outcome of shunt surgery in idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2013 Oct;155(10):1977-80. Epub 2013 Aug 23. Review.
  • Toma AK, Robertson F, Wong K, Joshi Y, Haridas A, Grieve J, Watkins LD, Kitchen ND, Brew S. Early single centre experience of flow diverting stents for the treatment of cerebral aneurysms. Br J Neurosurg. 2013 Oct;27(5):622-8.
  • Gemmete JJ, Chaudhary N, Elias AE, Toma AK, Pandey AS, Parker RA, Davagnanam I, Maher CO, Brew S, Robertson F. Spinal Dural Arteriovenous Fistulas: Clinical Experience with Endovascular Treatment as a Primary Therapy at 2 Academic Referral Centers. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2013 Apr 25.
  • Rasul FT, Marcus HJ, Toma AK, Thorne L, Watkins LD. Is endoscopic third ventriculostomy superior to shunts in patients with non-communicating hydrocephalus? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2013 May;155(5):883-9.
  • Rasul FT, Toma AK, Khan AA, Plant GT, Watkins LD. Pseudotumor cerebri presenting with visual failure in promyelocytic leukemia: a case report. J Med Case Rep. 2012 Nov 29;6(1):408.
  • Toma AK, Papadopoulos MC, Stapleton S, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. Conservative versus surgical management of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus: a prospective double-blind randomized controlled trial: study protocol. Acta Neurochir Suppl. 2012;113:21-3.
  • Shand Smith JD, Toma AK, Watkins LD, Kitchen ND. Secondary normal pressure hydrocephalus in a patient with isolated frontal dilatation-an insight into pathophysiology? Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2012 Apr;154(4):769-72;
  • Thom M, Toma A, An S, Martinian L, Hadjivassiliou G, Ratilal B, Dean A, McEvoy A, Sisodiya SM, Brandner S. One hundred and one dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors: an adult epilepsy series with immunohistochemical, molecular genetic, and clinical correlations and a review of the literature. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2011 Oct;70(10):859-78.
  • Tarnaris A, Toma AK, Pullen E, Chapman MD, Petzold A, Cipolotti L, Kitchen ND, Keir G, Lemieux L, Watkins LD. Cognitive, biochemical, and imaging profile of patients suffering from idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. Alzheimers Dement. 2011 Sep;7(5):501-8.
  • Toma AK, Stapleton S, Papadopoulos MC, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. Natural history of idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus. Neurosurg Rev. 2011 Oct;34(4):433-9.
  • Tarnaris A, Toma AK, Chapman MD, Keir G, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. Use of cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-β and total tau protein to predict favorable surgical outcomes in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. J Neurosurg. 2011 Jul;115(1):145-50.
  • Tarnaris A, Toma AK, Watkins LD, Kitchen ND. Is there a difference in outcomes of patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension with the choice of cerebrospinal fluid diversion site: A single centre experience. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2011 Jul;113(6):477-9.
  • Toma AK, Tarnaris A, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. Use of proGAV® shunt valve in normal pressure hydrocephalus. Neurosurgery. 2012;113:21-3.
  • Toma AK, Holl E, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. Evans' index revisited: the need for an alternative in normal pressure hydrocephalus. Neurosurgery. 2011 Apr;68(4):939-44.
  • Tarnaris A, Toma AK, Chapman MD, Petzold A, Keir G, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. Rostrocaudal dynamics of CSF biomarkers. Neurochem Res. 2011 Mar;36(3):528-32.
  • Toma AK, Tarnaris A, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. Investigating shunt function using continuous intracranial pressure monitoring in adults: single centre experience. J Neurosurg. 2010 Dec;113(6):1326-30.
  • Toma AK, Tarnaris A, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. Working towards patient oriented outcome assessment in normal pressure hydrocephalus, what is the most important? Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2011 Jan;153(1):177-80.
  • Toma AK, Dherijha M, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. Use of lumboperitoneal shunts with the Strata NSC valve: a single-center experience. J Neurosurg. 2010 Dec;113(6):1304-8.
  • Toma AK, Tarnaris A, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. Continuous intracranial pressure monitoring in pseudotumour cerebri: Single centre experience. Br J Neurosurg. 2010 Oct;24(5):584-8.
  • Tarnaris A, Toma AK, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. Ongoing search for diagnostic biomarkers in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. Biomark Med. 2009 Dec;3(6):787-805.
  • Toma AK, Tarnaris A, Kitchen ND, Watkins LD. Ventriculosinus shunt. Neurosurg Rev. 2010 Apr;33(2):147-52; discussion 153. Epub 2010 Feb 23. Review.
  • Toma AK, Camp S, Watkins LD, Grieve J, Kitchen ND. External ventricular drain insertion accuracy: is there a need for change in practice? Neurosurgery. 2009 Dec;65(6):1197-200;
  • Toma AK, Tarnaris A, Grieve JP, Watkins LD, Kitchen ND. Adjustable shunt valve-induced magnetic resonance imaging artifact: a comparative study. J Neurosurg. 2010 Jul;113(1):74-8.
  • Tarnaris A, Toma AK, Chapman MD, Petzold A, Kitchen ND, Keir G, Watkins LD. The longitudinal profile of CSF markers during external lumbar drainage. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2009 Oct;80(10):1130-3.
  • Ratilal B, McEvoy A, Sisodiya S, Thom M, Toma A. Diffuse cerebral gangliocytoma in an adult with late-onset refractory epilepsy. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2007 Dec;33(6):706-9.
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