This year’s Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award honors Mahlon R. DeLong, MD, at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and Alim-Louis Benabid, MD, PhD, at Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France, for their development of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) for patients with advanced Parkinson disease (PD). This surgical technique reduces tremors and restores motor function in patients with PD and allows for lower doses of levodopa, thus reducing its toxic effects. This approach, both effective and reversible through a pacemaker switch, has culminated in the treatment of more than 100 000 patients and is likely the most significant advance in PD-based therapeutics since the discovery of levodopa more than 40 years ago.
Rousseaux MWC, Zoghbi HY. Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson DiseaseThe 2014 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(3):259-260. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.4109