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Neurology academy honors Walters with sleep science award


3/05/2010 - Arthur Walters, M.D., professor of Neurology and associate director of Vanderbilt's Sleep Medicine Program, has been named to receive the American Academy of Neurology's Sleep Science Award, which recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to sleep research.

Arthur Walters, M.D.

Arthur Walters, M.D.

He will receive the award at the AAN meeting on April 13 in Toronto.
Walters' research focuses on Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) and Periodic Limb Movements in Sleep (PLMS).

“I am thrilled and excited to win this award, but I want to make sure that credit is given to longstanding colleague Wayne Hening, M.D., Ph.D., who passed away in 2008. We built our careers together,” Walters said.

“When I got into restless legs syndrome research there weren't many people doing research. Now, there is an enormous amount of research and I am proud to be part of that contribution to develop that process.”

In 2003, Walters co-edited the first book on sleep-related movement disorders. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine asked him to head committees for formulating criteria for the clinical and polysomnographic diagnosis of sleep-related movement disorders in 2005 and 2007.

His other contributions to sleep research include forming the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group, comprised of 130 physicians from 17 different countries, and forming the first medical advisory board for the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation, a nationwide patient support group that now has 70 chapters across the country.

Under his direction, the International RLS Study Group formulated the universally accepted clinical definition of RLS and the group also validated the first rating scale for the RLS severity.

Walters was on the faculty of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical school and later professor of Neuroscience at the Seton Hall University School of Graduate Medical Education, N.J., before joining the Vanderbilt faculty in October 2008.

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