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March 2015

Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson Disease: The 2014 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
  • 2Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston
  • 3Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(3):259-260. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.4109

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.