Dr. Lindsay Horton: American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Prize for Excellence in Neurology
By Jeff Carlton
Dr. Lindsay Horton took an extra year to get through UT Southwestern Medical School – and put the time to good use.
As a Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellow, Dr. Horton set aside medical school for 12 months to work on a research project involving multiple sclerosis (MS) patients under the direction of Dr. Elliot Frohman, Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics and Ophthalmology, and Dr. Benjamin Greenberg, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics and Pediatrics.
Their collaboration yielded important findings that appeared online in April in the journal Neurology, with Dr. Horton as the first author. The study found that the experimental drug 4-Aminopyridine, which improves weakness and imbalance in MS patients, also aids vision in a specific subset of patients.
Their work is expected to help people who suffer from a form of vision loss known as optic neuritis, a common symptom of MS patients. It also identifies the patients most likely to be helped by the treatment.
“We were really fortunate to have Lindsay working on this study,” said Dr. Greenberg of Dr. Horton, winner of the American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Prize for Excellence in Neurology. “Though a medical student at the time, she was taking on some of the challenges that junior faculty often face.”
Dr. Horton said her interest in neurology was solidified during third-year clinical rotations. The first patient she saw on her neurology rotation was a young man battling a challenging brain infection.
“What really struck me was the compassion and empathy I saw in the way the attending interacted with the family,” Dr. Horton said.
UT Southwestern was an excellent fit for Dr. Horton, who said she wants her career to be at an academic medical center, where she can treat patients, conduct research, and teach. She’s been on this path since college, when she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in neuroscience from Tulane University in New Orleans.
She plans to continue her medical education with a four-year residency in neurology at UT Southwestern and is considering a fellowship to follow in multiple sclerosis.
“I really enjoy working in multiple sclerosis because it is one of the subspecialties of neurology that appears to be advancing pretty rapidly,” she said.
Dr. Frohman holds the Irene Wadel and Robert I. Atha, Jr. Distinguished Chair in Neurology, and the Kenney Marie Dixon-Pickens Distinguished Professorship in Multiple Sclerosis Research.
Dr. Greenberg is a Cain Denius Scholar in Mobility Disorders.