Michael A. Williams M.D.

Michael A. Williams M.D.

Specialties and Expertise







Neurology Clinic at UWMC

1959 NE Pacific St., 8th Floor
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206.598.7688|Map It 

Neurological Surgery Clinic at UWMC

1959 NE Pacific St., 3rd Floor, Surgical Pavilion
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206.598.5637|Map It 


Dr. Michael Williams is director of Adult and Transitional Hydrocephalus and CSF Disorders. He is a UW professor of neurology and neurological surgery, and an expert in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH), hydrocephalus in young and middle-aged adults, hydrocephalus in young adults making the transition from pediatric specialists to adult specialists, and in pseudotumor cerebri, also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension.

Dr. Williams received a bachelor's degree from Valparaiso University, and his M.D. from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. He had an internship at Methodist Hospital of Indiana, and trained in neurology at Indiana University Medical Center. He then had a fellowship in neurosciences critical care at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Williams has been an expert in the field of hydrocephalus and CSF disorders for over 25 years. He first developed his expertise in the management of acute hydrocephalus in patients in the NeuroICU, and then began to use the same diagnostic and treatment methods for patients with chronic forms of hydrocephalus. He established centers at Johns Hopkins Hospital and at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore before coming to the University of Washington in 2016.

Dr. Williams is board certified in adult neurology, and is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Neurological Association. He helped to create the International Society for Hydrocephalus and CSF Disorders and is a past president of the society. He was co-chair of the first NIH workshop on hydrocephalus in 2005. He is a founding member of the Adult Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network. He has long been active in patient advocacy with the Hydrocephalus Association, and is currently a member of its board of directors and its medical advisory board. He is a on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Intracranial Hypertension Research Foundation. 

Patient Care Philosophy

Our goal is to provide expert, compassionate care to all adults with hydrocephalus, pseudotumor cerebri, and related disorders of cerebrospinal fluid circulation. I have long recognized that patients with these disorders have difficulty finding experts to treat them, or even to consider the possibility that they may have hydrocephalus or pseudotumor. This gap in expertise is especially true for young adults with hydrocephalus who are entering the adult healthcare system. Best care for our patients involves a team of healthcare professionals across many specialties, and the use of established, as well as cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment techniques.

A very important aspect of our program is that we care for patients longitudinally, as it is important to see them over time to be sure their hydrocephalus or pseudotumor treatment remains under control, and to help identify change in condition or symptoms that may indicate problems, or even a new diagnosis that may require evaluation by another specialist. I firmly believe in listening to my patients and understanding their narrative, including the impact of their disorder on their lives. I share in the joy of helping patients to get better, and yet I know that not all the patients I see will turn out to have hydrocephalus or pseudotumor, and in those instances, I always strive to help them to find a specialist who can help with diagnosis and treatment.

Personal Interests

I enjoy traveling, “very” amateur photography and weekend bicycling.

Clinical Interests

Clinical care and research in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH); young adults with hydrocephalus from childhood who are making the transition from pediatric to adult specialists (transitional care); hydrocephalus in young and middle-aged adults; pseudotumor cerebri, also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH); management of these disorders with shunt systems, as well as with other established interventions, such as endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) for patients with some forms of hydrocephalus, or vascular stent insertion for some patients with pseudotumor cerebri. 

Research Interests

Research in the longitudinal care and outcomes of congenital hydrocephalus, idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus, and acquired hydrocephalus; research in novel diagnostic and treatment approaches for hydrocephalus and pseudotumor cerebri, including noninvasive intracranial pressure monitoring. Dr. Williams also conducts research in VIIP (Visual Impairment / Intracranial Pressure), which is a disorder affecting astronauts after long-duration spaceflight. 


Indiana University School of MedicineMedical education1985
Indiana University School of MedicineResidencyNeurology
IU Health Methodist Hospital of IndianaInternshipTransitional Year
Johns Hopkins HospitalFellowship

Board Certifications

American Board of Psychiatry & NeurologyNeurology1991
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