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The most cited works in Parkinson's disease


  • Francisco A. Ponce MD,

    1. Division of Neurological Surgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
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  • Andres M. Lozano MD, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Division of Neurosurgery, Toronto Western Hospital, 399 Bathurst Street, WW 4-447, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8

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  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.


The number of citations a work has received is a measure of its impact. We identified the top cited works in Parkinson's disease. A Web of Science search was performed for articles including the keyword “Parkinson*” in the title (the asterisk was included in the search string as a wild card character). Articles with more than 400 citations, the threshold to be considered a “citation classic,” were identified and analyzed. The 107 articles identified appeared in 33 different journals, with clinical articles primarily appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet, and scientific articles primarily in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. There were 52 laboratory studies, 38 clinical studies, 12 review articles, and 5 classifications of disease. The clinical studies included evaluation of medical and surgical therapies, and the laboratory studies included gene discovery, molecular biology, and cellular biology, as well as animal models and neuropathological studies. High impact topics included deep brain stimulation, levodopa therapy and related adverse effects, MPTP-based animal studies, discovery and evaluation of genetic mutations, and pathogenesis related to oxidative degeneration. More than half of the articles identified in this study have been published in the past 20 years. Prior to 1990, highly cited articles in Parkinson's disease tended to be those that evaluated medical therapies and defined the clinical and neuropathological characteristics of the disease. Since 1990, a high proportion of the citation classics address the genetic characterization of and surgical treatments for the disease suggesting that these are the most significant recent developments and main drivers of impact in this field. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society