Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease

The NINDS Udall Centers of Excellence program was established in 1997 in tandem with the passage of the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Disease Research Act (P.L 105-78).  The primary programmatic goal is to define the causes of and discover improved treatments for Parkinson’s disease (PD).  In 2017, eight Udall Centers pursued high-impact multidisciplinary research, shared research resources and data, and provided active outreach to local patient and advocacy communities.

NIH-funded study points to a common cause for many effects of the disease

By studying cells from individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD), a study published in Science suggests that a toxic form of the brain chemical dopamine may contribute to all forms of PD. This work was partially funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Accelerating Parkinson’s Disease Research and Drug Development


Learn more about the AMP-PD program, a public-private partnership between government, industry, and nonprofit organizations focusing on identifying and validating biomarkers for predicting Parkinson’s disease, tracking disease progression, and validating therapeutic targets.

The Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) program for Parkinson’s disease (PD) has launched a data portal to provide de-identified information collected from 4,298 PD patients and healthy controls to researchers working to develop effective therapies for the disease.

NIH researchers gain better understanding of how neuropeptide hormones trigger chemical reactions in cells

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to resting tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, and postural instability. These symptoms are caused by degeneration of neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc), one of a group of brain structures known as the basal ganglia and part of a circuit crucial for coordinating purposeful movement. This circuit relies on the chemical messenger (or neurotransmitter) dopamine, which is produced by SNc neurons.

People who take immunosuppressants less likely to develop the disease

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have developed an experimental drug, similar to compounds used to treat diabetes, that slows the progression of Parkinson’s disease itself — as well as its symptoms — in mice. In experiments performed with cultures of human brain cells and live mouse models, they report the drug blocked the degradation of brain cells that is the hallmark of Parkinson’s disease. The drug is expected to move to clinical trials this year.