Elan Louis, M.D., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He specializes in disorders of involuntary movement and is considered the world’s leading scholar in essential tremor (ET).

Dr. Louis earned his medical degree at Yale University and a master’s degree in epidemiology at Columbia University. He completed a residency in neurology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and then received advanced training in movement disorders and neuroepidemiology through fellowships at Columbia University.

Dr. Louis served in Yale University’s Department of Neurology from 2015 to 2020 as a tenured Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology, Chief of the Movement Disorders Division, Associate Chair of Outpatient Clinical Research, and Co-Director of the Center for Neuroepidemiology and Clinical Neurological Research. Prior to that, he was a tenured Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he was also the Associate Chairman for Academic Affairs and Faculty Development.

Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Louis joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2020.

Dr. Louis’s research focuses on the genetics, epidemiology, and pathophysiology of tremor disorders. His work on essential tremors has been cited in the New York Times as “pioneering,” and, in fact, his research has challenged many of the prevailing notions about ET and has substantially recreated the dialogue in the ET field. He collaborates with investigators in Spain, Turkey, Mexico, and other countries, examining the epidemiology of ET in these populations.

Dr. Louis established the Essential Tremor Centralized Brain Repository – a national centralized brain bank for the study of ET. He has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1995 and continuous R01 funding since 2000, as well as funding from the International Essential Tremor Foundation, the Charles A. Dana Foundation, the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, and a Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholars Award from the American Federation for Aging Research.

He has authored more than 700 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters and written invited editorials and reviews for Annals of Neurology, New England Journal of Medicine, and Lancet Neurology. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements, and he serves on the editorial board of more than 10 other scholarly journals  He is also the editor of Merritt’s Textbook of Neurology, one of the premier general neurology textbooks in the country.

Dr. Louis has served on multiple medical advisory boards, including the boards of the International Essential Tremor Foundation, the Tremor Action Network, and HopeNET, and he is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, and the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

He is committed to the care of patients with involuntary movements and has been listed by Castle Connolly as one of the Top Doctors in the field of Neurology.


Medical School
Yale University School of Medicine (1989)
Yale University School of Medicine (1990), Internal Medicine
Columbia University, New York Presbyterian Hospital (1993), Neurology
Columbia University, New York Presbyterian Hospital (1995), Movement Disorders
Other Post Graduate Training
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health (1995), Epidemiology
Columbia University, New York Presbyterian Hospital (1995), Neuro-epidemiology

Research Interest

  • Disorders of involuntary movement
  • History of Science
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Tremor disorders - associated comorbidities
  • Tremor disorders - clinical features
  • Tremor disorders - cohort studies
  • Tremor disorders - environmental determinants
  • Tremor disorders - epidemiology
  • Tremor disorders - genetic determinants
  • Tremor disorders - neuropathological and molecular basis
  • Tremor disorders - rating scales


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

The Sherrington-Cushing connection: A bench to bedside collaboration at the dawn of the twentieth century.
Louis ED, J Hist Neurosci 2020 Apr-Jun 29 2 203-220
Suicidal risk and demoralization in Parkinson disease.
Elfil M, Ahmed N, Alapati A, Bahekar R, Kandil M, Kim C, Schaefer S, Tinaz S, Patel AS, de Figueiredo JM, Louis ED, Koo BB, J. Neurol. 2020 Apr 267 4 966-974
Gene expression analysis of the cerebellar cortex in essential tremor.
Martuscello RT, Kerridge CA, Chatterjee D, Hartstone WG, Kuo SH, Sims PA, Louis ED, Faust PL, Neurosci. Lett. 2020 Mar 721 134540
Essential tremor-plus: a controversial new concept.
Louis ED, Bares M, Benito-Leon J, Fahn S, Frucht SJ, Jankovic J, Ondo WG, Pal PK, Tan EK, Lancet Neurol 2020 Mar 19 3 266-270
Demoralization in essential tremor: prevalence, clinical correlates, and dissociation from tremor severity.
Cersonsky TEK, Kellner S, Morgan S, Cosentino S, Koo BB, de Figueiredo JM, Louis ED, CNS Spectr 2020 Feb 25 1 16-23
Profiles of Normal Cognition in Essential Tremor.
Cersonsky TEK, Kellner S, Chapman S, Huey ED, Louis ED, Cosentino S, J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2020 Feb 26 2 197-209
The "Caring Giver": Emotional Caregiving in the Setting of Essential Tremor.
Hickman R, Zdrodowska MA, Kellner S, Cersonsky TEK, Trujillo Diaz D, Louis ED, Monin JK, Res Aging 2020 Feb 42 2 83-91
Essential tremor pathology: neurodegeneration and reorganization of neuronal connections.
Louis ED, Faust PL, Nat Rev Neurol 2020 02 16 2 69-83
Blood Harmane (1-Methyl-9H-Pyrido[3,4-b]indole) and Mercury in Essential Tremor: A Population-Based, Environmental Epidemiology Study in the Faroe Islands.
Louis ED, Eliasen EH, Ferrer M, Iglesias Hernandez D, Gaini S, Jiang W, Zheng W, Nielsen F, Petersen MS, Neuroepidemiology 2020 Jan 1-9
Cerebellar oscillations driven by synaptic pruning deficits of cerebellar climbing fibers contribute to tremor pathophysiology.
Pan MK, Li YS, Wong SB, Ni CL, Wang YM, Liu WC, Lu LY, Lee JC, Cortes EP, Vonsattel JG, Sun Q, Louis ED, Faust PL, Kuo SH, Sci Transl Med 2020 Jan 12 526


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • H. Richard Tyler Award historical research
    American Academy of Neurology (2010)
  • Lawrence C. McHenry Award for excellence in research in neurological history
    American Academy of Neurology (2010)
  • Dorothy Dillon Eweson Lectureship on Advances in Aging Research
    American Federation for Aging Research (2000-2005)
  • Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholar
    American Federation for Aging Research (1997-2000)
  • Lawrence C. McHenry Award for excellence in research in neurological history
    American Academy of Neurology (1994)
  • Outstanding Houseofficer and Teacher
    College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University (1992)
  • Cum Laude
    Yale University School of Medicine (1989)
  • Harold Lamport Biomedical Research Prize
    Yale University School of Medicine (1989)
  • Merck Research Award
    Yale University School of Medicine (1989)
  • Magna Cum Laude
    University of Pennsylvania (1984)
  • Phi Beta Kappa
    University of Pennsylvania (1984)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Basal Ganglia (editorial board) (2017-2019)
  • Cerebellum and Ataxias (editorial board) (2014-2020)
  • HopeNET (Medical Advisory Board) (2014-2020)
  • Institute of Medicine (Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans Exposed to Herbicides - Tenth Biennial Update) (2014-2015)
  • Journal of Clinical Movement Disorders (editorial board) (2013-2020)
  • Frontiers in Movement Disorders (editorial board) (2010-2020)
  • Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements (Editor in Chief) (2010-2020)
  • Parkinson's Disease (editorial board) (2009-2020)
  • Neuroepidemiology (editorial board) (2008-2020)
  • International Essential Tremor Foundation (Advisor) (2005-2020)
  • Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (Medical Advisory Board) (2004-2006)
  • National Institutes of Health (Clinical Neuroscience and Disease Study Section Member) (2003-2008)
  • American Academy of Neurology (Scientific Program Subcomittee) (2002-2005)
  • Journal of the History of the Neurosciences (editorial board) (2001-2020)
  • Movement Disorders (editorial board) (2000-2005)