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Melvin D. Yahr, M.D. 1917-2004

The Parkinsonís Disease Foundation reports with sadness the death of Dr. Melvin D. Yahr, for decades a leading presence in the field of neurology and Parkinsonís science. In the 1960s, Dr. Yahr served as the Foundationís first Scientific Director and he remained a friend throughout his long and brilliant career. The following is the text of an obituary PDF placed in the New York Times on Tuesday, January 6.

"YAHR-Melvin D. We mourn the passing of Dr. Melvin D. Yahr, personal friend and devoted leader of research and patient care for people affected by Parkinsonís disease. Among his numerous contributions, Dr. Yahr was the first Scientific Director of the Parkinsonís Disease Foundation. He led the first double-blind clinical trial of levodopa, the standard treatment for the disease. With Dr. Margaret Hoehn, he developed clinical criteria that are still used for evaluating the severity of the disease. In the William Black Building at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center he developed laboratories for a vigorous basic science approach to understanding how the disease arises. He established the first NIH-supported Parkinsonís Disease Research and Education Center, and a research group for the World Federation of Neurology. He was awarded the coveted James Parkinson Medal by the Foundation on the occasion of its 30th anniversary in 1987. Since 1974, he has had an illustrious career at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and has continued to be an international leader of research related to the disease. We join his numerous admirers in mourning his passing and we extend sincere condolences to Nancy, his children, grandchildren, students, and colleagues everywhere."

Page Morton Black, Chairman Lewis P. Rowland MD, President Stanley Fahn, MD, Scientific Director Robin A. Elliott, Executive Director, Parkinsonís Disease Foundation

Source Date: Jan 07 2004