David Elliott Pleasure, M.D. for UC Davis Health

David Elliott Pleasure, M.D.

Distinguished Professor, Department of Neurology

To see if David Elliott Pleasure is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).






Locations and Contact

UC Davis Medical Center

UC Davis Medical Center
2315 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Additional Numbers

Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Philosophy of Care

I pledge to offer thoughtful and supportive care to my patients.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Pleasure's principal clinical interests include: Multiple sclerosis, Leukodystrophies, and Peripheral Neuropathies.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Pleasure's research focuses on improving the prognosis of patients with multiple sclerosis, leukodystrophies, and peripheral neuropathies.



Undergraduate School

B.A., Yale University, New Haven CT 1959

Medical School

M.D., Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York NY 1963


Rotating Internship, University of Vermont, Burlington VT 1963-1964


Neurology, Neurological Institute-Columbia Univeristy, New York NY 1964-1966


Neurology, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda MD 1966-1968

Listed in Best Doctors in America (1993-2021), 2021

Associate Editor, Journal of Neuroscience, 2013

Associate Editor, JAMA Neurology, 2013

Designated Distinguished Professor of Neurology, UC Davis School of Medicine, 2011

Elected Honorary Member, American Neurological Association, 2011

Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2005

Carrell Krusen Lectureship, Dallas TX, 2005

Edmond Notebaert Endowed Chair, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

Grace R. Loeb Endowed Chair in Neuroscience, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000

Listed in Best Physicians in Philadelphia by Philadelphia magazine, 1996

Member, Board of Directors, American Neurological Association, 1994

Jacob Javits Neuroscience Award, NINDS, 1992

Medical School Class of 1992 Excellence in Teaching Award, 1992

Friedrich von Recklinghausen Award for the Advancement of Medical Sciences in the Field of Neurofibromatosis, 1992

Residents' Teaching Award, Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania, 1988

Member, College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 1984

Traveling Fellow, Royal Society of Medicine, 1976

MA, honorary, University of Pennsylvania, 1974

Alpha Omega Alpha, P&S, Columbia (junior year), 1962

Magna cum laude, Yale, high honors in history, 1959

Phi Beta Kappa, Yale (junior year), 1958

To view Dr. Pleasure's publications, please click here.

Wang Y, Hull V, Sternbach S, Popovich B, Burns T, McDonough J, Guo F, Pleasure D. Ablating the Transporter Sodium-Dependent Dicarboxylate Transporter 3 Prevents Leukodystrophy in Canavan Disease Mice. Ann Neurol. 2021 Sep 8. doi:10.1002/ana.26211. Epub ahead of print. PMID:34498299.

Wang YZ, Fan H, Ji Y, Reynolds K, Gu R, Gan Q, Yamagami T, Zhao T, Hamad S, Bizen N, Takebayashi H, Chen Y, Wu S, Pleasure D, Lam K, Zhou CJ. Olig2 regulates terminal differentiation and maturation of peripheral olfactory sensory neurons. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2020 Sep;77(18):3597-3609. doi:10.1007/s00018-019-03385-x. Epub 2019 Nov 22. PMID:31758234.

Pleasure D, Guo F, Chechneva O, Bannerman P, McDonough J, Burns T, Wang Y, Hull V. Pathophysiology and Treatment of Canavan Disease. Neurochem Res. 2020 Mar;45(3):561-565. doi:10.1007/s11064-018-2693-6. Epub 2018 Dec 8. PMID:30535831.

Hull V, Wang Y, Burns T, Zhang S, Sternbach S, McDonough J, Guo F, Pleasure D. Antisense Oligonucleotide Reverses Leukodystrophy in Canavan Disease Mice. Ann Neurol. 2020 Mar;87(3):480-485. doi:10.1002/ana.25674. Epub 2020 Jan 22. PMID:31925837.

Bannerman P, Guo F, Chechneva O, Burns T, Zhu X, Wang Y, Kim B, Singhal NK, McDonough JA, Pleasure D. Brain Nat8l Knockdown Suppresses Spongiform Leukodystrophy in an Aspartoacylase-Deficient Canavan Disease Mouse Model. Mol Ther. 2018 Mar 7;26(3):793-800. doi:10.1016/j.ymthe.2018.01.002. Epub 2018 Jan 10. PMID:29456021.

Yamagami T, Pleasure DE, Lam KS, Zhou CJ. Transient activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling reporter in fibrotic scar formation after compression spinal cord injury in adult mice. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018 Feb 19;496(4):1302-1307. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.02.004. Epub 2018 Feb 3. PMID:29410176.

Horiuchi M, Suzuki-Horiuchi Y, Akiyama T, Itoh A, Pleasure D, Carstens E, Itoh T. Differing intrinsic biological properties between forebrain and spinal oligodendroglial lineage cells. J Neurochem. 2017 Aug;142(3):378-391. doi:10.1111/jnc.14074. Epub 2017 Jun 9. PMID:28512742.

Pleasure D. New hearts for Friedreich patients. J Neurol Sci. 2017 Apr 15;375:474-475. doi:10.1016/j.jns.2017.01.035. Epub 2017 Jan 12. PMID:28131391.

Sohn J, Bannerman P, Guo F, Burns T, Miers L, Croteau C, Singhal NK, McDonough JA, Pleasure D. Suppressing N-Acetyl-l-Aspartate Synthesis Prevents Loss of Neurons in a Murine Model of Canavan Leukodystrophy. J Neurosci. 2017 Jan 11;37(2):413-421. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2013-16.2016. PMID:28077719.