American Academy of Neurology awards 2004 Potamkin Prize to two scientists

ST. PAUL, Minn. (April 21, 2004) The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) will award the 2004 Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick's, Alzheimer's and Related Diseases to Leon J. Thal, MD, and Roger M. Nitsch, MD. The $100,000 Potamkin Prize will be awarded April 27 at the AAN annual meeting in San Francisco.

Often called the "Nobel Prize of Neurology," the Potamkin Prize honors and rewards researchers for their work in helping advance the understanding of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.

Thal is professor and chairman, Department of Neurosciences, director of the Alzheimer Disease Research Center at the University of California, San Diego, and chief investigator of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study, a nationwide consortium of Alzheimer's disease research centers focused on investigating experimental therapies to treat the disease.

Nitsch is a professor in the Division of Psychiatry Research at the University of Zurich Neuroscience Center, Zurich, Switzerland.

"Both Dr. Thal and Dr. Nitsch broke new scientific ground with their respective research into finding effective therapies to treat, and even prevent, Alzheimer's disease," said Roger R. Rosenberg, MD, member of the Potamkin Prize Committee and past President of the AAN. "Their work is proof that the fight against Alzheimer's disease is well underway, and progress is being made."

Thal is one of the world's foremost authorities on the development of therapies for Alzheimer's disease. His pioneering clinical research work in the 1980s led to the development of the first approved drug for treating Alzheimer's disease, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that proved effective in slowing the decline of the disease in patients.

Under Thal's leadership, the ACDS has achieved significant progress both in developing new therapies for Alzheimer's disease and in advancing the methodology for conducting clinical research and testing. The ACDS was the first organ

Contact: Kathy Stone
American Academy of Neurology

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