Focus on Parkinson's Disease Research

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive movement disorder that affects the lives of at least one half million patients across the United States. The average onset of characteristic motor symptoms, which are initially subtle and impact purposeful movement, occurs in the sixth decade. People with PD also experience significant non-motor symptoms including changes in cognition and mood, sleep disturbances, and autonomic dysfunction. Currently available pharmacological and surgical treatments provide relief from some motor symptoms, but do not halt the ultimate progression of the disease. Although significant research advances have been made, including the recent identification of possible environmental and genetic risk factors for PD, further research is required to elucidate underlying causes of PD and to discover improved treatments.

At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the NINDS is the primary institute supporting PD research: in fiscal year 2016, the NINDS funded approximately $107 million out of a total of $161 million in NIH-supported PD research. The NINDS supports basic, translational and clinical research programs through a variety of mechanisms, including the Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research and the Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program (PDBP). As part of our mission to decrease the burden of neurological disease, and building upon a strong foundation of research discovery, the NINDS is committed to the rapid translation of basic research findings into clinical practice.

For further information on NINDS programs for Parkinson's Disease research, please contact Beth-Anne.Sieber@nih.gov

 

Research Programs

Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program 

Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research

 

Resources

NINDS Biospecimen Exchange for Neurological Disorders or Diseases (BioSEND)

NINDS Human Cell and Data Repository

PD genetic studies in the NIH database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGAP)

 

Further Information

Parkinson's Disease Information Page

Parkinson's Disease: Hope Through Research

NINDS Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

 

Strategic Plans

NINDS Parkinson's Disease 2014 Conference: Advancing Research, Improving Lives: To inform ongoing and future efforts in PD research, the NINDS organized the “PD2014” conference (January 6-7, 2014). At this public meeting, participants assessed significant challenges and identified the highest research priorities for advancing basic, translational and clinical research on PD. The research recommendations and access to the archived meeting webcast are available.

PD Workshops and Conferences:
NINDS Parkinson's Disease Research Planning Conferences

Meeting & Workshops
NINDS Events Calendar