Denny-Brown, Derek

S. Gilman, J. A. Vilensky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Derek Denny-Brown (1901-81) was a New Zealand-born neurologist who in 1941 became director of Harvard University's Neurological Unit at Boston City Hospital and in this role modernized American neurology through his teaching, research, and leadership. At Boston City Hospital, Denny-Brown investigated the functions of the basal ganglia, the frontal lobes, and the nondominant parietal lobe. These studies were published in two classic books, The Basal Ganglia and Their Relation to Disorders of Movement (1962) and The Cerebral Control of Movement (1966). Among his many notable accomplishments were performing early electromyograms on humans, and demonstrating that treatment with the chelating agent British anti-Lewisite improved the neurological disorders resulting from Wilson's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9780123851574
ISBN (Print)9780123851581
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Basal ganglia
  • Denny-Brown, Derek
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Motor unit
  • Movement disorders
  • Sherrington, Charles
  • Wilson's disease, treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    Gilman, S., & Vilensky, J. A. (2014). Denny-Brown, Derek. In Encyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences (pp. 973). Elsevier Inc..