Honda Prize 2021 Awarded to French Neurosurgeon and Physicist Dr. Alim Louis Benabid


TOKYO, Sept. 30, 2021 /Kyodo JBN/ --

Honda Foundation

- Pioneering Research into Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) (*) and Contribution to Treating Involuntary Movement Caused by Parkinson’s Disease -


The Honda Foundation, the public interest incorporated foundation established by Soichiro Honda and his younger brother Benjiro and currently led by President Hiroto Ishida, is pleased to announce that the Honda Prize 2021 will be awarded to Dr. Alim Louis Benabid, Professor Emeritus of Joseph Fourier University and Chairman of the Board of Clinatec, both of France, for his contribution to pioneering research and practical application of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the treatment of involuntary movement caused by progressive Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders.






The Honda Prize, established in 1980 and awarded once each year, is an international award that recognizes the work of individuals or groups generating new knowledge to drive the next generation, from the standpoint of ecotechnology. Dr. Benabid was the first to make use of DBS for the treatment of involuntary movement, caused mainly by progressive Parkinson’s disease, and to succeed in its practical application. DBS is a surgical procedure in which electrodes are implanted in the subthalamic nucleus in the brain. Stimulation by high-frequency electric current from electrodes reduces tremors and restores the motor function of Parkinson’ s disease patients. Recognition of its effectiveness in clinical studies led to the dissemination of DBS worldwide, with more than 150,000 patients undergoing this procedure to date.


If involuntary tremors cannot be controlled with drug therapy considered best suited to treat Parkinson’s disease, a surgical procedure known as thalamotomy was commonly performed to destroy a tiny portion of the brain. On the other hand, DBS is a reversible procedure in which the implanted electrodes can not only be removed but also adjusted to fine-tune the strength of the current. DBS can be used to treat not only Parkinson’s but also dystonia and other motor disorders, and contributes to improving the quality of life of many, including restoring the ability to stand alone, for example. The Prize will be awarded to Dr. Benabid for this innovative treatment method, which is worthy of the highest recognition.


This year, the presentation ceremony for the 42nd Honda Prize will be held on November 17, 2021, in an online format, to be broadcast in Japan, France and various other countries.


(*) DBS: Electrodes are implanted around the subthalamic nucleus of the brain, along with a stimulation generator placed in the chest. The two are connected with a lead for high-frequency electrical stimulation. This aids in restoring movement functions, and curbing tremors and other symptoms for improved mobility in everyday living.


For more information about the press release and CV of Dr. Benabid, please refer to the Honda Foundation via: URL:


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