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


Serum Neurofilament Light-Chain Concentrations in Essential Tremor: a Case–Control Study
Salinas M, Salinas VH, McGurn M, Hernandez N, Louis ED Cerebellum 2024 Jun 23 951-956
Decreased Synaptic Vesicle Glycoprotein 2A Binding in the Human Postmortem Essential Tremor Cerebellum: Evidence of Reduction in Synaptic Density
Yang Y, Zheng C, Chen B, Hernandez NC, Faust PL, Cai Z, Louis ED, Matuskey D Cerebellum 2024 Jun 23 1053-1060
Reduced Bergmann glial process terminations and lateral appendages in essential tremor
Ruff DS, Balbo I, Lai RY, Dieng D, Hennessey C, Vennam K, Dwork AJ, McCreary M, Louis ED, Faust PL, Kuo SH Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology 2024 Feb 11 377-388
Gene Expression Analysis of Laser-Captured Purkinje Cells in the Essential Tremor Cerebellum
Martuscello RT, Sivaprakasam K, Hartstone W, Kuo SH, Konopka G, Louis ED, Faust PL Cerebellum 2023 Dec 22 1166-1181
Vestibular reflexes in essential tremor: abnormalities of ocular and cervical vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials are associated with the cerebellum and brainstem involvement
Bal N, Şengül Y, Behmen MB, Powell A, Louis ED Journal of Neural Transmission 2023 Dec 130 1553-1559
A prospective cohort study of familial versus sporadic essential tremor cases: Do clinical features evolve differently across time?
Berry DS, Cosentino S, Louis ED Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2023 Nov 454
ELectronic Archimedes spiral Neural Network (ELANN)
Holcomb JM, Maldjian JA, Xi Y, O'Suilleabhain PE, Louis ED, Shah BR Parkinsonism and Related Disorders 2023 Oct 115
Stigma and Social Avoidance in Adults with Essential Tremor
O'Suilleabhain P, Berry DS, Lundervold DA, Turner TH, Tovar M, Louis ED Movement Disorders Clinical Practice 2023 Sep 10 1317-1323
Odds of Medical Comorbidities in Essential Tremor: Retrospective Analysis of a Large Claims Database in the United States
Kapinos KA, Louis ED Neuroepidemiology 2023 Aug 57 148-155
Defective cerebellar ryanodine receptor type 1 and endoplasmic reticulum calcium ‘leak’ in tremor pathophysiology
Martuscello RT, Chen ML, Reiken S, Sittenfeld LR, Ruff DS, Ni CL, Lin CC, Pan MK, Louis ED, Marks AR, Kuo SH, Faust PL Acta Neuropathologica 2023 Aug 146 301-318


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

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