After almost 50 years of neurological practice, I believe that the greatest triumphs of the 20th century were the following:
However, without doubt, the greatest advances in the Decade of the Brain were related to neurogenetics, including the mapping of many neurological single-gene disorders and the discovery of some of the abnormal or missing gene products. These advances brought within sight the development of gene therapy for some neurological disorders, carrier identification and prenatal diagnosis in several X-linked disorders, prospects of cell transplantation in the nervous system in some patients, preimplantation diagnosis following in vitro fertilization, and blastocyst biopsy. In the new millennium, I believe it will be neurogenetics in which the greatest developments can be anticipated.
Walton J. Clinical Neurology20th-Century Achievements. Arch Neurol. 2000;57(1):52-53. doi:10.1001/archneur.57.1.52