Focus On Parkinson's Disease Research

Older woman with hands crossed over legs. Focus On Parkinson's Disease banner image.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive movement disorder that affects the lives of between 500,000 and 1 million Americans. People with PD experience changes in movement, including slowness and rigidity, and may also notice changes including sleep, fatigue, mood, attention and memory, bowel and bladder function, all of which have considerable impact on quality of life. Currently available drugs and surgical treatments improve movement, but are less effective in treating other symptoms or slowing the progression of PD. Significant research is focused on understanding the causes of PD and the discovery of improved treatments.

For general information, please see the NINDS Parkinson's Disease Information Page.

For further information on NINDS programs for Parkinson's Disease research, please contact

At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the NINDS is the primary institute supporting PD research:

Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories

Research/Disease Areas* FY 2020
FY 2021
FY 2022
FY 2023 (est)
Parkinson's Disease $242 $254 $259 $270
*Dollars in millions and rounded

Proceedings & Outcomes

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. Identified research priorities and access to the archived meeting webcast are available.


Resources and Tools


Beth-Anne Sieber, Ph.D. | Program Director, Movement Disorders and Neurodegeneration

Debra Babcock, M.D., Ph.D. | Program Director, Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience

Sophie (Hyun Joo) Cho, M.D. | Program Director, Division of Clinical Research

Shireen Sarraf, Ph.D. | Program Director, Movement Disorders and Neurodegeneration

Christine Swanson-Fischer, Ph.D. | Program Director, Movement Disorders and Neurodegeneration

Rebecca Price, Ph.D. | Program Manager, Movement Disorders and Neurodegeneration

Hsiao Yu (Christina) Fang, Ph.D. | Health Program Specialist, Movement Disorders and Neurodegeneration 

Lauren Laboissonniere | Health Program Specialist, Movement Disorders and Neurodegeneration

Luis Sullivan, Ph.D. | Health Program Specialist, Movement Disorders and Neurodegeneration  

Funding Opportunities 

To receive regular updates on NINDS/NIH funding announcements and other opportunities, please join the NINDS PD Research ListServ

Parkinson's Disease Funding Opportunities

Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Funding Opportunities

News & Events

NIH BRAIN Initiative launches projects to develop innovative technologies to map the brain in incredible detail

NIH researchers identify large genetic changes that contribute to dementia risk

Neurology Podcast: NINDS Support for PD Research, with Dr. Sophie Cho


Related Topics 

NINDS Biospecimen Exchange for Neurological Disorders (BioSEND)
BioSEND houses biospecimens collected through NINDS-supported studies including phase 2 and 3 clinical trials along with an array of studies focused on biomarkers of disease susceptibility, onset and progression. The primary goal of the BioSEND repository is standardize biospeciment collection and distribution to facilitate research on PD and neurological disorders. BioSEND currently banks a variety of biospecimens, including DNA, plasma, serum, RNA, CSF, urine, and saliva.

NINDS Human Cell and Data Repository (NHCDR)
NHCDR provides well-characterized cell sources to both academic and industry investigators to advance the study of neurological disorders including PD.  Cell sources currently include fibroblasts and/or induced pluripotent stem cells.  NHCDR also provides new tools for analytics, searching and ordering for all components of the repository.

NINDS Data Management Resource (DMR)
The NINDS Data Management Resource (DMR) advances Parkinson's research through the support of electronic data capture, clinical site management, data quality assessment and data access. This resource provides researchers with tools that allow for the collection and quality assurance of data in a standardized format.  In addition, the DMR coordinates entry of de-identified data into a common database, enabling the query and distribution of aggregate, harmonized clinical data.

NINDS Common Data Elements (CDEs)
Common Data Elements (CDEs) are standards that enable clinical investigators to systematically collect, analyze and share harmonized data across the research community. The NINDS strongly encourages researchers who receive funding from the Institute to ensure their data collection is compatible with these CDEs.

NIH NeuroBioBank
The NIH-funded NeuroBioBank (NBB) is a national resource and repository for human post-mortem brain tissue and related biospecimens that are crucial to understand both healthy brain function and nervous system dysfunction in nervous system disorders, including PD. The goals of the NBB are to 1) increase the availability of human disease and control brains  by increasing public awareness of the value of tissue donation for understanding brain disorders; 2) facilitate the distribution of high quality, well characterized human post-mortem brain tissue for the research community; and 3) to serve as a centralized research resource of best practices and protocols used by six networked sites in the acquisition, preparation, and distribution of tissue.

  • Public: Learn about the crucial need for brain donation and how the gift of brain donation can advance knowledge of neurological disorders, including PD. The NIH NeuroBioBank has partnered with The Brain Donor Project to help potential donors register for brain donation.
  • Researchers:  Browse the inventory of available samples and learn how to request tissue from NBB.

NINDS Contributions to Approved Therapies: DBS for PD
An overview of the successful development of DBS as a therapy for PD, including contributions from basic neuroscience research and clinical studies supported by the NINDS and NIH.

Parkinson’s Disease Research Planning
As the primary NIH Institute supporting research on Parkinson’s disease (PD), NINDS periodically coordinates comprehensive strategic planning efforts to help prioritize research needs and opportunities.

Related Disorder Information