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Melissa Cortez
( out of 37 reviews )

Melissa Cortez, DO

Languages spoken: English

Clinical Locations

  • Melissa Cortez, DO, is a neurologist who has specialized expertise in neurological diseases affecting the autonomic nervous system (autonomic neurology), as well as multiple sclerosis (MS). She is board certified in neurology and clinical neurophysiology (EMG, nerve conduction studies, evoked potentials, and autonomic testing). Dr. Cortez is the director and founder of the autonomic physiology lab at the University of Utah and has integrated a research program into her clinical work, aiming to better understand the underlying physiology of symptoms her patients experience. This knowledge is aimed at improving diagnostic strategies, improved selection of treatment options, and improving outcomes.

    Board Certification

    American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology (Neurology)
    American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology (Sub: Clinical Neurophysiology)
    United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (Autonomic Disorders)

    Patient Rating

    4.8 /5
    ( out of 37 reviews )

    The patient rating score is an average of all responses on our patient experience survey. The rating averages scores for all questions about care from our providers.

    The scale on which responses are measured is 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

    Patient Comments

    Patient comments are gathered from our patient experience survey and displayed in their entirety.
    Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

    August 11, 2023
    UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

    Very good and very supportive

    July 16, 2023
    CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCES CENTER

    I was very impressed with her knowledge and that she wants to get to the source of my problem rather than just throw pills at me. She was very personable and down-to-earth.

    July 06, 2023
    CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCES CENTER

    Very caring and professional. She's a great doctor.

    May 10, 2023
    CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCES CENTER

    The only tidbit that would have made it better was to to have her explain her finding. I received the notes in MyChart app however there are questions when some of the results of the actual physical tests were obviously a concern, I would have like to have that explained to me I.e why one muscle group on a certain side were complete out of balance in comparison to the other side. Other than that everything else went smoothly.

    May 03, 2023
    UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

    Havent met her yet!

    March 24, 2023
    CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCES CENTER

    Dr. Melissa Cortez is one of a kind, what I appreciated her kind manner and I think she can help me with my health problems, I waited with great anticipation, to see her and I wasnt disappointed.

    March 06, 2023
    CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCES CENTER

    Very professional and caring in wanting to help me further to help me heal

    December 25, 2022
    CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCES CENTER

    She is caring and knowledgeable. She is open to all my questions, and listens very carefully. Dr. Cortez is very culturally humble with me as a Latina. She makes the time and I feel like she cares about me. I love her

    December 14, 2022
    CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCES CENTER

    Dr. Cortez is an amazing doctor. She does everything she can to help her patients. I trust her with my care. She truly listens to you and answers questions in a way you can understand.

  • Melissa Cortez, DO, is a neurologist who has specialized expertise in neurological diseases affecting the autonomic nervous system (autonomic neurology), as well as multiple sclerosis (MS). She is board certified in neurology and clinical neurophysiology (EMG, nerve conduction studies, evoked potentials, and autonomic testing). Dr. Cortez is the director and founder of the autonomic physiology lab at the University of Utah and has integrated a research program into her clinical work, aiming to better understand the underlying physiology of symptoms her patients experience. This knowledge is aimed at improving diagnostic strategies, improved selection of treatment options, and improving outcomes.

    Board Certification and Academic Information

    Academic Departments Neurology -Primary
    Board Certification
    American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology (Neurology)
    American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology (Sub: Clinical Neurophysiology)
    United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (Autonomic Disorders)

    Education history

    Fellowship Clinical Neurophysiology, Electromyography/Autonomics - Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic Fellow
    Multiple Sclerosis - Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic Clinical Fellow
    Chief Resident Adult Neurology - University of Utah School of Medicine Chief Resident
    Adult Neurology - University of Utah School of Medicine Resident
    Internship Preliminary Medicine - University of Minnesota Intern
    Medicine - Midwestern University/Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine Doctorate
    Undergraduate Molecular Biology, Minor in Psychology - University of Wyoming B.S.
    Undergraduate Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - Cornell College

    Selected Publications

    Journal Article

    1. Walker WC, Clark SW, Eppich K, Wilde EA, Martin AM, Allen CM, Cortez MM, Pugh MJ, Walton SR, Kenney K (2023). Headache among combat-exposed veterans and service members and its relation to mild traumatic brain injury history and other factors: a LIMBIC-CENC study. Front Neurol, 14, 1242871. (Read full article)
    2. Martindale C, Presson AP, Schwedt TJ, Brennan KC, Cortez MM (2023). Sensory hypersensitivities are associated with post-traumatic headache-related disability. Headache, 63(8), 1061-1069. (Read full article)
    3. Cortez MM, Martindale C, Brennan KC, Kean J, Millar MM, Knudson A, Katz BJ, Digre KB, Presson AP, Zhang C (2023). Validation of the Utah Photophobia Symptom Impact Scale (version 2) as a headache-specific photophobia assessment tool. Headache, 63(5), 672-682. (Read full article)
    4. De Almeida BI, Smith TL, Delic A, Esquibel L, Galli J, Millsap L, Paz Soldn MM, Cortez MM, Rose J, Greenlee JE, Gundlapalli AV, Hill HR, Wong KH, Clardy SL (2023). Neurologic Manifestations of Common Variable Immunodeficiency: Impact on Quality of Life. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm, 10(3). (Read full article)
    5. Langford JS, Tokita E, Martindale C, Millsap L, Hemp J, Pace LA, Cortez MM (2022). Quantitative gastrointestinal function and corresponding symptom profiles in autonomic neuropathy. Front Neurol, 13, 1027348. (Read full article)
    6. Starling AJ, Cortez MM, Jarvis NR, Zhang N, Porreca F, Chong CD, Schwedt TJ (2022). Cutaneous heat and light-induced pain thresholds in post-traumatic headache attributed to mild traumatic brain injury. Headache, 62(6), 726-736. (Read full article)
    7. Fino PC, Dibble LE, Wilde EA, Fino NF, Johnson P, Cortez MM, Hansen CR, van der Veen SM, Skop KM, Werner JK, Tate DF, Levin HS, Pugh MJV, Walker WC (2022). Sensory Phenotypes for Balance Dysfunction After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Neurology, 99(5), e521-35. (Read full article)
    8. Leibovit-Reiben Z, Ishii R, Dodick DW, Dumkrieger G, Cortez MM, Brennan KC, Digre K, Schwedt TJ (2022). The impact of pre-morbid headaches on headache features and long-term health outcomes following traumatic brain injury: Insights from the American Registry for Migraine Research. Headache, 62(5), 566-576. (Read full article)
    9. Vernino S, Bourne KM, Stiles LE, Grubb BP, Fedorowski A, Stewart JM, Arnold AC, Pace LA, Axelsson J, Boris JR, Moak JP, Goodman BP, Chmali KR, Chung TH, Goldstein DS, Diedrich A, Miglis MG, Cortez MM, Miller AJ, Freeman R, Biaggioni I, Rowe PC, Sheldon RS, Shibao CA, Systrom DM, Cook GA, Doherty TA, Abdallah HI, Darbari A, Raj SR (2021). Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS): State of the science and clinical care from a 2019 National Institutes of Health Expert Consensus Meeting - Part 1. Auton Neurosci, 235, 102828. (Read full article)
    10. Raj SR, Bourne KM, Stiles LE, Miglis MG, Cortez MM, Miller AJ, Freeman R, Biaggioni I, Rowe PC, Sheldon RS, Shibao CA, Diedrich A, Systrom DM, Cook GA, Doherty TA, Abdallah HI, Grubb BP, Fedorowski A, Stewart JM, Arnold AC, Pace LA, Axelsson J, Boris JR, Moak JP, Goodman BP, Chmali KR, Chung TH, Goldstein DS, Darbari A, Vernino S (2021). Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS): Priorities for POTS care and research from a 2019 National Institutes of Health Expert Consensus Meeting - Part 2. Auton Neurosci, 235, 102836. (Read full article)
    11. Cortez MM, Millsap L, Rea NA, Sciarretta C, Brennan KC (2021). Photophobia and allodynia in persistent post-traumatic headache are associated with higher disease burden. Cephalalgia, 41(10), 1089-1099. (Read full article)
    12. Schwedt TJ, Sahai-Srivastava S, Murinova N, Birlea M, Ahmed Z, Digre K, Lopez K, Mullally W, Blaya MT, Pippitt K, Cutrer FM, DeLange J, Schecht H, Rizzoli P, Lane J, Wald J, Cortez MM, Martin VT, Spare NM, Hentz JG, Robert T, Dodick DW, MOTS Investigators (2021). Determinants of pain interference and headache impact in patients who have chronic migraine with medication overuse: Results from the MOTS trial. Cephalalgia, 41(10), 1053-1064. (Read full article)
    13. Ishii R, Schwedt TJ, Trivedi M, Dumkrieger G, Cortez MM, Brennan KC, Digre K, Dodick DW (2021). Mild traumatic brain injury affects the features of migraine. J Headache Pain, 22(1), 80. (Read full article)
    14. Cortez MM, Millsap L, Rea NA, Sciarretta C, Brennan KC (2021). Photophobia and allodynia in persistent post-traumatic headache are associated with higher disease burden. Cephalalgia, 41(10), 1089-1099.
    15. Cortez MM, Millsap L, Brennan KC (2020). Synergistic but separable sensory changes in postural tachycardia syndrome and chronic migraine. Clin Auton Res, 31(2), 263-271. (Read full article)
    16. Villani LA, Digre KB, Cortez MM, Bokat C, Rassner UA, Ozudogru SN (2021). Arachnoiditis, a complication of epidural blood patch for the treatment of low-pressure headache: A case report and systematic review. Headache, 61(2), 244-252. (Read full article)
    17. Parkhouse RME, Sciutto E, Hernndez M, Cortez MM, Carpio A, Fleury A (2020). Extraparenchymal human neurocysticercosis induces autoantibodies against brain tubulin and MOG35-55 in cerebral spinal fluid. J Neuroimmunol, 349, 577389.
    18. Sanchez JMS, McNally JS, Cortez MM, Hemp J, Pace LA, Clardy SL (2020). Neuroimmunogastroenterology: At the Interface of Neuroimmunology and Gastroenterology. Front Neurol, 11, 787. (Read full article)
    19. Cortez MM, Millsap L, Brennan KC, Campbell CL (2020). Craniofacial Autonomic Dysfunction in Migraine: Implications for Treatment and Prognosis. J Neuroophthalmol, 40(1), 67-73. (Read full article)
    20. Cortez MM, Theriot J, Rea NA, Gowen F, Brennan KC (2019). Low-frequency facial hemodynamic oscillations distinguish migraineurs from non-headache controls. 2, 1-9.
    21. Cortez MM, Digre K, Uddin D, Hung M, Blitzer A, Bounsanga J, Voss MW, Katz BJ (2019). Validation of a photophobia symptom impact scale. Cephalalgia, 39(11), 1445-1454. (Read full article)
    22. Cortez MM, Rae N, Millsap L, McKean N, Brennan KC (2019). Pupil Cycle Time Distinguishes Migraineurs From Subjects Without Headache. Front Neurol, 10, 478. (Read full article)
    23. Cortez MM, Theriot JJ, Rea NA, Gowen FE, Brennan KC (2019). Low-frequency facial hemodynamic oscillations distinguish migraineurs from non-headache controls. Cephalalgia Rep, 2. (Read full article)
    24. Hanson LL, Ahmed Z, Katz BJ, Warner JEA, Crum AV, Zhang Y, Zhang Y, Baggaley S, Pippitt K, Cortez MM, Digre KB (2018). Patients With Migraine Have Substantial Reductions in Measures of Visual Quality of Life. Headache, 58(7), 1007-1013. (Read full article)
    25. Rea NA, Rosenberg CL, Cortez MM (2017). Quantitative assessment of autonomic symptom burden in Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS). J Neurol Sci, 377, 35-41.
    26. Cortez MM, Nagi Reddy SK, Goodman B, Carter JL, Wingerchuk DM (2015). Autonomic Symptom Burden is Associated with MS-Related Fatigue and Quality of Life. Mult Scler Relat Disord, 4(3), 258–263.
    27. Cortez MM, Wilder M, McFadden M, Majersik JM (2014). Quality of Life after Intra-arterial Therapy for Acute Ischemic Stroke. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis, 23(7), 1890-6.
    28. Cortez MM, Wold JJ, Renner DR (2014). International issues: expanding neurologic education to resource-poor countries. Lessons from Moi Teaching Hospital. Neurology, 82(3), e18-20. (Read full article)
    29. Cortez M, Singleton JR, Smith AG (2014). Glucose intolerance, metabolic syndrome, and neuropathy. Handb Clin Neurol, 126, 109-22. (Read full article)

    Review

    1. Pelo R, Suttman E, Fino PC, McFarland MM, Dibble LE, Cortez MM (2023). Autonomic dysfunction and exercise intolerance in concussion: a scoping review. [Review]. Clin Auton Res, 33(2), 149-163. (Read full article)

    Book Chapter

    1. Cortez MM, Singleton JR, Smith AG (2014). Glucose intolerance, metabolic syndrome, and neuropathy. In D.W. Zochodne and R.A. Malik (Eds.), Handbook of Clinical Neurology: Diabetes and the Nervous System (3rd, 126, pp. 109-22). Toronto: Elsevier Publishing.

    Case Report

    1. Ginos J, Mcnally S, Cortez M, Quigley E, Shah LM (2015). Vertebral Artery Dissection and Cord Infarction - an Uncommon Cause of Brown-Séquard and Horner Syndromes. Cureus, 7(8), e308. (Read full article)

    Letter

    1. Ozudogru SN, Villani LA, Cortez MM, Bokat C, Rassner UA, Digre KB (2021). Arachnoiditis following epidural blood patch-An avoidable rare complication due to blind technique: A response. [Letter to the editor]. Headache, 61(6), 974-975. (Read full article)
    2. Ozudogru S, Loucao S, Rauf A, Cortez M (2019). Post-stroke short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with autonomic symptoms (SUNA): response to lamotrigine and sphenopalatine ganglion block. [Letter to the editor]. Clin Auton Res, 29(3), 357-359. (Read full article)

    Abstract

    1. Cortez M, Rea N, Vongvaivanich K, Hunter K, Theriot J, Brennan KC (May 2015). Post-traumatic headache can be physiologically discriminated from migraine with aura [Abstract]. Cephalalgia, 35(6), suppl pg 116.

    Video/Film/CD/Web/Podcast

    1. Cortez M, Holiday V, Greenlee J (2010-2014). Article recommendations and reviews, Neuro-Oncology/Immunology Section Associate Faculty Member [Web]. Available: F1000.com.
  • News & Podcasts