A Tribute to Dr. Mahlon DeLong

Parkinson’s pioneer and friend

Dr. Mahlon DeLong was a pioneer in the Parkinson’s disease (PD) field and a dear friend and longtime partner of the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA). He sadly passed away on May 17, 2024.

We honor the memory of Dr. Mahlon DeLong, pictured here with Leslie A. Chambers, President & CEO, APDA
We honor the memory of Dr. Mahlon DeLong, pictured here with Leslie A. Chambers, President & CEO, APDA

In tribute to Dr. DeLong, we reflect on the remarkable life and career of a man who profoundly impacted both neurology and the lives of those fortunate enough to know him. We honor his professional achievements and the kindness and friendship he shared with us.

Dr. DeLong’s illustrious career was marked by groundbreaking contributions to understanding and treating Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, tremor, and other neurological movement disorders. His pioneering research into the basal ganglia helped transform neurology, providing critical insights into PD and other movement disorders. His work has fundamentally changed the approach to these conditions, improving the lives of countless patients worldwide.

One of Dr. DeLong’s most notable accomplishments was his research of the basal ganglia that contributed to the development of deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a therapeutic technique. This innovative approach, involving the implantation of electrodes to regulate abnormal brain activity, has offered new hope to individuals suffering from PD. Recognized with numerous prestigious awards, including the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2014, Dr. DeLong’s contributions to DBS underscore the global significance of his work.

Dr. DeLong was a longtime member of APDA’s Scientific Advisory Board and a steadfast champion of APDA’s mission. As a neurologist and professor at Emory University, he was also a collaborative partner and friend of APDA’s Georgia Chapter. We are tremendously grateful for his partnership and support over the years. His unwavering dedication to the Parkinson’s disease community made him an icon in the field, significantly advancing understanding and treatment.

As we honor Dr. DeLong, we celebrate a life filled with extraordinary accomplishments and profound kindness. His legacy will continue to inspire and guide so many. We are deeply grateful for the time we shared with him and the indelible imprint he leaves on us, the world of neurology, and the Parkinson’s disease community. We extend our deepest sympathies to his friends, family, and all who were fortunate enough to know him.

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