Jonathan Santoro, MD

Jonathan D. Santoro, MD

Director, Neuroimmunology and Demyelinating Disorders Program
Director of Research, Neurologic Institute at Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Santoro is a pediatric neurologist with special training in inflammatory and demyelinating disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system. His clinical research is in Down syndrome and the association between autoimmunity and the development of cerebrovascular disease.

Clinical Interests

Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis
Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders
MOG Antibody Syndrome
Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis
Optic Neuritis
Transverse Myelitis
Neurologic Disorders Associated With Down Syndrome
Bickerstaff's Brainstem Encephalitis and GQ1b Antibody Mediated Disorders
Autoimmune Encephalitis
Hashimoto's Encephalitis (Steroid Responsive Encephalitis with Associated Autoimmune Thyroiditis)
Down Syndrome Regression Disorder
Moyamoya vasculopathy
Aicardi Goutieres Syndrome


Medical School

Tulane University School of Medicine


Stanford University School of Medicine: Pediatrics


Stanford University School of Medicine: Pediatrics & Child Neurology


Harvard Medical School: Pediatric MS and Demyelinating Disorders



American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology: Neurology with Special Qualifications in Child Neurology


American Medical Association 
American Academy of Neurology 
Child Neurology Society
Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group (DSMIG)



Selected Publications:

Santoro JD, Spinazzi NA, Filipink RA, et al. Immunotherapy responsiveness and risk of relapse in Down syndrome regression disorder. Transl Psychiatry 2023;13(1):276.

Santoro JD, Patel L, Kammeyer R, et al. Assessment and Diagnosis of Down Syndrome Regression Disorder: International Expert Consensus. Front Neurol 2022;13:940175.

Jafarpour S, Banerjee A, Boyd NK, et al. Association of rare variants in genes of immune regulation with pediatric autoimmune CNS diseases. J Neurol 2022:1-18. doi: 10.1007/s00415-022-11325-2

Santoro JD, Partridge R, Tanna R, et al. Evidence of neuroinflammation and immunotherapy responsiveness in individuals with down syndrome regression disorder. J Neurodev Disord 2022;14(1):35.

Santoro JD, Saucier LE, Tanna R, et al. Inadequate Vaccine Responses in Children With Multiple Sclerosis. Front Pediatr 2021;9:790159.

Santoro JD, Lee S, Wang AC, et al. Increased Autoimmunity in Individuals With Down Syndrome and Moyamoya Disease. Front Neurol 2021;12:724969.

Santoro JD, Waltz M, Aaen G, et al. Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score in a large US cohort. Neurology 2020;95(13):e1844-e53.

Santoro JD, Paulsen KC. Biotinidase Deficiency as a Mimic of Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder in Childhood. JAMA Neurol 2020;78(1):118-20.

Santoro JD, Lee S, Mlynash M, et al. Diminished Blood Pressure Profiles in Children With Down Syndrome. Hypertension 2020;75(3):819-25.

M, Fremion E, Santoro SL, et al. Down Syndrome Disintegrative Disorder: A Clinical Regression Syndrome of Increasing Importance. Pediatrics 2020;145(6)

Santoro JD, Lee S, Mlynash M, et al. Blood Pressure Elevation and Risk of Moyamoya Syndrome in Patients With Trisomy 21. Pediatrics 2018;142(4)

Santoro JD, Forkert ND, Yang QZ, et al. Brain Diffusion Abnormalities in Children with Tension-Type and Migraine-Type Headaches. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2018;39(5):935-41. 


Research Summary

Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis
MOG Antibody Spectrum Disorders
Neurologic Disorders Associated With Down Syndrome

Research Studies

To investigate if non-invasive screening for cerebrovascular diseases in persons with Down syndrome is feasible with the goal of preventing stroke.