Awarded annually, the Honda Prize is an international distinction that highlights innovative research in environmental technologies. This year, Professor Alim-Louis Benabid will be honored for his discovery of deep brain stimulation (DBS) and its effects on the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Professor Benabid continues his innovative work at Clinatec, Edmond J. Safra biomedical research center. The award ceremony will be held online on November 17, 2021, from Tokyo.
Co-Founder of Clinatec, Edmond J. Safra biomedical research center, Professor Alim-Louis Benabid was the first to use deep brain stimulation in the treatment of involuntary movements caused by neurodegenerative diseases, in particular that of Parkinson’s. The use of this technique, which involves the implantation of electrodes in the subthalamic nucleus of the brain and the high frequency stimulation of this one, makes it possible to stop the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. A true medical revolution, the work of Prof. Benabid has enabled the use of deep brain stimulation all over the world. To date, more than 200,000 Parkinson’s disease patients have benefited from the application of this technology and significantly improved their daily lives. It is the work on this disruptive technology that was recognized by the Honda Prize.
Professor Alim-Louis Benabid wanted to go further and work to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. At Clinatec, he initiated research into the neuroprotective properties of infrared light (Near Infra Red: NIR): this neuro-illumination technique would indeed slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Excellent preclinical results testing the safety and efficacy of this process have validated this approach and submitted the clinical protocol for the NIR project. The first patient in this protocol was operated on in March 2021; a world first.
The Honda Prize, created in 1980 by the Honda Foundation, aims to promote international technical cooperation for the implementation of technologies that have less impact on the environment. Since then, the Honda Foundation has recognized on 41 occasions the technical and scientific achievements which bring new knowledge in favor of the creation of the world of tomorrow.