Andreas J Plaitakis

Andreas J Plaitakis, MD


Dr. Andreas Plaitakis received his M.D. and Ph.D. degree from the University of Athens Greece. He was trained in Internal Medicine and in Neurology at Mount Sinai Hospital, where he also completed his NIH post-doctoral fellowship in Neurochemistry. He then joined the Mount Sinai faculty and rose through the ranks to Professor of Neurology. After working at Mount Sinai for over 20 years, he became Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the newly established University of Crete, where for a decade he also served as Director of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and as Dean of Graduate studies. Recently, he returned to Mount Sinai joining again the Neurology faculty.

Dr. Plaitakis has been the principal investigator of research projects funded by NIH for almost two decades. He has published over 150 original articles and book chapters, and two textbooks. He has been an invited speaker at many National and International Meetings. He is an elected member of the American Neurologic Association.

Dr. Plaitakis divides his time between Clinical Neurology and Basic Research. He has made original observations that linked metabolic abnormalities to human degenerative neurological disorders (Plaitakis, et al. Science, 1982). His observations on glutamate alterations in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis was rationale behind the use of Riluzole, a glutamate-modifying agent, for treating this devastating disorder, the only effective treatment that is currently available.

At the basic Science level, his team cloned and characterized human proteins involved in the metabolism and transport of glutamate, a major excitatory neurotransmitter involved in a multitude of normal brain functions and in neurodegenerative processes. They also elucidated the evolutionary steps by which a novel glutamate-metabolizing enzyme acquired unique properties and a nerve tissue expression profile that may have contributed to traits, such as cognitive function, unique to humans.

Dr. Plaitakis also maintains a special interest in the clinical aspects and etio-pathogenesis of movement disorders (Ataxia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc), dementias and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He and his co-investigators identified environmental factors contributing to the rising incidence of MS among females. They also detected brain hemodynamic changes at the earliest stages of MS that correlate with cognitive dysfunction. In addition, he is dedicated to the care of patients with diverse neurologic conditions that fall within the full spectrum of general neurology.


1.     Special issue of Neurochemical Research. (2014) dedicated to Dr. Andreas Plaitakis “A neurologist with a lifetime fascination for neurochemistry” for his contribution to the field of Neurochemistry

2.     Excellence in Teaching Award, Neurology Residents, Mount Sinai Hospital, N.Y., 1994

3.     Elected member of the American Neurological Association (1984)

4.     Two Awards (1984 and 1988) from the Kassian Benevolent Association of New York for services provided to the Kassian community of New York

5.     Fred Valergakis Award from the Hellenic University Club of York (1984)

6.     NIH National Service Award (1977‑1978)

7.     Honorary Citizen of Kassos Island  (1979) for Outstanding Medical and Humanitarian Services to the People of Kassos Island

8.     Honorary Scholarship (1963-1968) for being top student in the Medical School.



  • C. Spanaki, I. Zaganas, K. Kleopas and A Plaitakis. Human GLUD2 Glutamate Dehydrogenase is expressed in Neural and Testicular Supportive cells. J Biol Chem 2010 May 28;285(22):16748-56.
  • Spanaki C, Zafeiris S, Plaitakis A. Levodopa-aggravated lateral flexion of the neck and trunk as a delayed phenomenon of unilateral pallidotomy. Mov Disord. 2010 Apr 15;25(5):655-6.
  • Plaitakis A, Latsoudis H, Kanavouras K, Ritz B, Bronstein JM, Skoula I, Mastorodemos V, Papapetropoulos S, Borompokas N, Zaganas I, Xiromerisiou G, Hadjigeorgiou GM and Spanaki C. Gain-of-function variant in GLUD2 glutamate dehydrogenase modifies Parkinson's disease onset. Eur J Hum Genet. 2010 Mar;18(3):336-41.
  • Mastorodemos V, Nikolakaki H, Tzagournissakis M, Kotzamani D, Panou T, Spanaki C, Klados G, Maris T, Kontolaimaki E, Psaroudaki K, Chlouverakis G, Georgakakis G, Plaitakis A. Benign multiple sclerosis in Crete. Mult Scler. 2010 Jun;16(6):701-6. Epub 2010 Mar 17.
  • Borobokas N., Papachatzaki MM, Kanavouras K., Mastorodemos V.,  Zaganas I., Spanaki C. and Plaitakis A. Estrogen modification of human glutamate dehydrogenases is linked to enzyme activation state. J Biol Chem 285: 31380-31387, 2010.
  • Saloustros E, Zaganas I, Mavridis M, Vamvakas L, Plaitakis A, Georgoulias V, Mavroudis D. Anti-CV2 associated cerebellar degeneration after complete response to chemoradiation of head and neck carcinoma. J Neurooncol. 2010 Apr;97(2):291-4. doi: 10.1007/s11060-009-0022-2. Epub 2009 Oct 2.
  • Plaitakis A, Latsoudis H, Spanaki C. The human GLUD2 glutamate dehydrogenase and its regulation in health and disease. Neurochem Int. 2011 59: 495-509, 2011
  • Tsounis S, Kimiskidis VK, Kazis D, Gkiatas K, Garganis K, Karageorgiou K, Giannakodimos S, Papathanasopoulos P, Plaitakis A, Papadimitriou A, Lyras L, Emir B. An open-label, add-on study of pregabalin in patients with partial seizures: A multicenter trial in Greece. Seizure. 2011 Jul 18. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Zaganas I, Halpin AP, Oleinik A, Alegakis A, Kotzamani D, Zafiris S, Chlapoutaki C, Tsimoulis D, Giannakoudakis E, Chochlidakis N, Ntailiani A, Valatsou C, Papadaki E, Vakis A, Furie KL, Greenberg SM, Plaitakis A. A comparison of acute hemorrhagic stroke outcomes in 2 populations: the Crete-Boston study. Stroke.2011 Dec;42(12):3640-2.
  • Kanavouras K, Tzatzarakis MN, Mastorodemos V, Plaitakis A, Tsatsakis AM. A case report of motor neuron disease in a patient showing significant level of DDTs, HCHs and organophosphate metabolites in hair as well as levels of hexane and toluene in blood.Toxicol  Appl  Pharmacol. 2011 Nov 1;256(3):399-404. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2011.07.022. Epub 2011 Aug 6.
  • Khatri B, Barkhof F, Comi G, Hartung HP, Kappos L, Montalban X, Pelletier J, Stites T, Wu S, Holdbrook F, Zhang-Auberson L, Francis G, Cohen JA; TRANSFORMS Study Group. Comparison of fingolimod with interferon beta-1a in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: a randomised extension of the TRANSFORMS study. Lancet Neurol. 2011 Jun;10(6):520-9. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(11)70099-0. Epub 2011 May 13.
  • Albrecht J, Schousboe A, Plaitakis A. The glutamatergic synapse in Aghia pelagia: the spirit of Wierzba moves south. Neurochem Int. 2012 Sep;61(4):443
  • Panou T, Mastorodemos V, Papadaki E, Simos PG, Plaitakis A: Early signs of memory impairment among multiple sclerosis patients with clinically isolated syndrome. Behav Neurol. 2012;25(4):311-326.
  • Zaganas I, Spanaki C, Plaitakis A. Expression of human GLUD2 glutamate dehydrogenase in human tissues: functional implications. Neurochem Int. 2012 Sep;61(4):455-62.
  • Kotzamani D, Plaitakis A. Alpha helical structures in the leader sequence of human GLUD2 glutamate dehydrogenase responsible for mitochondrial import. Neurochem Int. 2012 Sep;61(4):463-469.
  • Spanaki C, Zaganas I, Kounoupa Z, Plaitakis A. The complex regulation of human glud1 and glud2 glutamate dehydrogenases and its implications in nerve tissue biology. Neurochem Int. 2012 Sep;61(4):470-81.
  • Kotzamani D, Panou T, Mastorodemos V, Tzagournissakis M, Nikolakaki H, Spanaki C, Plaitakis A. Rising incidence of multiple sclerosis in females associated with urbanization. Neurology. 2012 May 29;78(22):1728-35.
  • Papadaki EZ, Mastorodemos VC, Amanakis EZ, Tsekouras KC, Papadakis AE, Tsavalas ND, Simos PG, Karantanas AH, Plaitakis A, Maris TG. White matter and deep gray matter hemodynamic changes in multiple sclerosis patients with clinically isolated syndrome. Magn Reson Med. 2012 Dec;68(6):1932-42.
  • Ioannou M, Alissafi T, Lazaridis I, Deraos G, Matsoukas J, Gravanis A, Mastorodemos V, Plaitakis A, Sharpe A, Boumpas D, Verginis P. Crucial role of granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells in the regulation of central nervous system autoimmune disease. J Immunol. 2012 Feb 1;188(3):1136-46
  • Spanaki C, Plaitakis A. The role of glutamate dehydrogenase in mammalian ammonia metabolism. Neurotox Res. 2012 Jan;21(1):117-27.
  • Petrakis I, Mavroeidi V, Stylianou K, Andronikidi E, Lioudaki E, Perakis K, Stratigis S, Vardaki E, Zafeiri M, Giannakakis K, Plaitakis A, Amoiridis G, Saraiva MJ, Daphnis E: Hsf-1 affects podocyte markers NPHS1, NPHS2 and WT1 in a transgenic mouse model of TTRVal30Met-related amyloidosis. Amyloid. 2013 Jul 5. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Pajęcka K, Nielsen CW, Hauge A, Zaganas I, Bak LK, Schousboe A, Plaitakis A, Waagepetersen HS: Glutamate Dehydrogenase Isoforms with N-Terminal (His)6- or FLAG-Tag Retain Their Kinetic Properties and Cellular Localization. Neurochem Res. 2013 Apr 26. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Plaitakis A, Zaganas I, Spanaki C. Deregulation of glutamate dehydrogenase in human neurologic disorders. J Neurosci Res. 2013 Aug;91(8):1007-17. doi: 10.1002/jnr.23176. Epub 2013 Mar 6.
  • Mermigkis C, Bouloukaki I, Mastorodemos V, Plaitakis A, Alogdianakis V, Siafakas N, Schiza S: Medical treatment with thiamine, coenzyme Q, vitamins E and C, and carnitine improved obstructive sleep apnea in an adult case of Leigh disease. Sleep Breath. 2013 Feb 7. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Petrakis I, Mavroeidi V, Stylianou K, Efthymiou G, Perakis K, Vardaki E, Stratigis S, Giannakakis K, Kourouniotis K, Amoiridis G, Plaitakis A, Saraiva MJ, Yamamura KI, Daphnis E. Human TTRV30M localization within podocytes in a transgenic mouse model of transthyretin related amyloidosis: does the environment play a role? Transgenic Res. 2013 Feb;22(1):101-16.
  • Shashidharan P, Plaitakis A. The Discovery of Human of GLUD2 Glutamate Dehydrogenase and Its Implications for Cell Function in Health and Disease. Neurochem Res. 2013 Dec 19. [Epub ahead of print]PMID:24352816
  • Papadaki EZ, Simos PG, Panou T, Mastorodemos VC, Maris TG, Karantanas AH, Plaitakis A. Hemodynamic evidence linking cognitive deficits in clinically isolated syndrome to regional brain inflammation. Eur J Neurol. 2013 Dec 26. doi: 10.1111/ene.12338. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:24373026
  • Zaganas I, Pajęcka K, Wendel Nielsen C, Schousboe A, Waagepetersen HS, Plaitakis A. The effect of pH and ADP on ammonia affinity for human glutamate dehydrogenases. Metab Brain Dis. 2013 Jun;28(2):127-31. doi: 10.1007/s11011-013-9382-6. Epub 2013 Feb 20.
  • Papadaki EZ, Simos PG, Mastorodemos VC, Panou T, Maris TG, Karantanas AH, Plaitakis A. Regional MRI perfusion measures predict motor/executive function in patients with clinically isolated syndrome. Behav Neurol. 2014;2014:252419. doi: 10.1155/2014/252419. Epub 2014 Jan 23.
  • Spanaki C, Kotzamani D, Petraki Z, Drakos E, Plaitakis A. Heterogeneous Cellular Distribution of Glutamate Dehydrogenase in Brain and in Non-neural Tissues. Neurochem Res.2014 Jan 17. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24436052
  • Papadaki EZ, Simos PG, Panou T, Mastorodemos VC, Maris TG, Karantanas AH, Plaitakis A. Hemodynamic evidence linking cognitive deficits in clinically isolated syndrome to regional brain inflammation. Eur J Neurol. 2014 Mar;21(3):499-505. doi: 10.1111/ene.12338. Epub 2013 Dec 26.
  • Fanouriakis A, Mastorodemos V, Pamfil C, Papadaki E, Sidiropoulos P, Plaitakis A, Amoiridis G, Bertsias G, Boumpas DT. Coexistence of systemic lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis: prevalence, clinical characteristics, and natural history. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2014 Jun;43(6):751-8. doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2013.11.007. Epub 2013 Nov 13.
  • Zaganas I, Schousboe A. A neurologist with a lifetime fascination for neurochemistry: preface for the special issue dedicated to Dr. Andreas Plaitakis. Preface. Neurochem Res. 2014;39(3):423-5. doi: 10.1007/s11064-013-1211-0. Epub 2013 Dec 7.
  • Mastorodemos V, Kanavouras K, Sundaram S, Providaki M, Petraki Z, Kokkinidis M, Zaganas I, Logothetis DE, Plaitakis A. Side-chain interactions in the regulatory domain of human glutamate dehydrogenase determine basal activity and regulation. J Neurochem. 2014 Dec 31. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13019. [Epub ahead of print]



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