Professor Lees studied medicine at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel where he was awarded the Jonathan Hutchinson Prize for Clinical Medicine, and then trained as a neurologist at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, University College London Hospital and at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, where he was appointed consultant neurologist at the age of 33.
Professor Lees was director of the Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies at University College London from 1998 to 2012, an institution dedicated to research into neurodegenerative diseases. In 1987, he co-founded the Queen Square Brain Bank for Neurological Disorders (QSBB), which now houses the largest collection of Parkinson's brains in the world and is where he conducted the research that led to the Queen Square Brain Bank criteria for Parkinson's disease. From 2002 to 2012, he served as director of the Sara Koe PSP Research Centre funded by the PSP Association to conduct research into progressive supranuclear palsy.
He was responsible for the introduction of apomorphine to treat advanced complications of Parkinson's disease including L-dopa induced refractory off periods and dyskinesias.
Parkinsons disease and other movement disorders.
French and some Spanish and Portuguese
Professor Lees is recognised as a highly cited neuroscientist on the Institute for Scientific Information "ISI Highly Cited Researchers" database with an h-index of 130 and is the world's most highly cited Parkinson's disease researcher with over 23,000 citations since 1985 and co-author of 8 citation classics.
- Parkinson's Disease. The facts. Oxford University Press. 1982. ISBN 9780192612939.
- Tics and Related Disorders. Churchill Livingstone Edinburgh. 1985. ISBN 9780443026775.
- Lees, Andrew (2011). Ray of Hope. ISBN 9780140172614. A biography of Ray Kennedy, the former England football player who developed Parkinson's disease at the age of 35. Michael Joseph and Penguin Books London
- The Hurricane Port. A social History of Liverpool. Random House. 2011. ISBN 9781780571560.
- William Richard Gowers 1845-1915: Exploring the Victorian Brain. Oxford University Press. 2012. ISBN 9780191637025.
- Alzheimer's: The Silent Plague. Penguin E-book. 2012. ISBN 9780670922734.
- Mentored by a Madman: The William Burroughs Experiment. Notting Hill Editions. 2016.
- Brazil That Never Was. Notting Hill Editions and New York Review of Books. 2020. ISBN 9781912559213