Focus On Parkinson's Disease Research

Focus On Parkinson's Disease Research

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

NINDS Program Description

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive movement disorder that affects the lives of =between 500,000 and 1 million Americans (Neurology. 2007 Jan 30;68(5):326-37; Neurology. 2007 Jan 30;68(5):384-6; Mov Disord. 2013 Mar;28(3):311-8; NPJ Parkinsons Dis. 2018 Jul 10;4:21.). 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.

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:

  • In fiscal year 2019, the NINDS funded approximately $125 million out of a total of $224 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.

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

Research/Disease Areas* FY 2016
FY 2017
FY 2018
FY 2019
Parkinson's Disease $161 $168 $193 $224

*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. The research recommendations and access to the archived meeting webcast are available.