Parkinson’s researchers win Lasker Award

Scientists who helped develop a surgical technique to reduce tremors and restore motor function to those with advanced Parkinson’s disease have been named the recipients of the prestigious Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Research Award for 2014. The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation will present the awards Sept. 19 in New York City.

Mahlon DeLong, MDAlim Louis Benabid, MD, PhDMahlon DeLong, MD, 76, left, who is the William Timmie Professor of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and Alim Louis Benabid, MD, PhD, 72, right, of Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, France, are being recognized for their roles in developing deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus.

DeLong began his Parkinson’s research in the late 1960s, and Benabid began his work with deep brain stimulation in 1987, later adapting his efforts based on DeLong’s findings in animal models. In 2002 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved high-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus for treating advanced Parkinson's disease.

“The work of DeLong and Benabid has enhanced the lives of more than 100,000 patients worldwide who have undergone the procedure,” according to the Lasker Foundation, “and it has spurred further investigations into the use of electrical stimulation that is already helping others with neurological and psychiatric diseases.”

To learn more about the technique and the researchers, view the video below from the Lasker Foundation:

Topics: Clinical