Grant Accomplishments

NPF has funded more than $180 million in research and support services. Funded projects cover a wide range of areas important to the study of Parkinson’s disease. These studies support NPF’s commitment to serving people with Parkinson’s disease, their families and communities, and healthcare professionals worldwide.

Read about the 2014 Research and Intervention Investigator Awards for Parkinson's Disease.

2011 Funded Research 

Can Parkinson's Disease Be Prevented?
This study is being conducted to determine if PD can be prevented by tracking the incidence of PD in a population where the expected incidence is known but are subjected to a series of neuroprotective interventions.

Project status (June 2012): This study is still enrolling  patients
Investigators: Anat Mirelman, PhD; Nir Giladi, MD, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center
Country: Israel

Are novel MRI features suitable biomarkers for motor and non-motor manifestations of Parkinson's Disease?
This study aims to show that the shape of brain structures, identified by imaging, can identify Parkinson’s disease and track its progress.

Project status (June 2012): This study is still enrolling patients
Investigator: Martin McKeown, MD, University of British Columbia
Country: Canada

Motor Programming and Memory
This study is identifying the mechanism of motor learning deficits in PD and exploring whether they can be corrected.

Project status (June 2012): This study is still enrolling patients
Investigator: M. Felice Ghilardi, MD, New York University
Country: USA

Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) in PD
This study of 200 people with PD is being conducted to identify the prevalence of SDB in PD, determine the correlation of SDB and cognitive impairment in PD, and determine the effect of positive airway pressure (PAP) on SDB and cognition in PD.  The study is enrolling both English and Spanish speaking subjects.

Project status (June 2012): This study is still enrolling patients
Investigator: Carlos Singer, MD, University of Miami
Country: USA

Biomarker Assessment of the Parkinson’s Associated Risk study (PARS) Cohort
This study is using biospecimens collected while the first signs of PD progress into diagnosable PD to determine if the change in blood chemistry will show the presence and progression of PD. Overall, the PARS project goal is to better understand who may be at risk for PD so that it can ultimately be prevented before it starts. For more information about the PARS study click her (link to

Project status (June 2012): This study is still enrolling patients
Investigator: Matthew Stern, MD, MSCE, University of Pennsylvania
Country: USA

ParkFit Trial Analysis
This study is testing a motivational regimen to see if it is the right approach to encourage patients to exercise, and to measure the results achieved.

Project status (June 2012): Results from phase I showed that parkfit program increased patient outdoor and sport activities. The potential health benefits  of the change in lifestyle are now being studied.
Investigator: Bastiaan Bloem, MD, PhD, Radboud University
Country: The Netherlands

The Nintendo Wii vs. Handheld Control Gaming and its Relationship to Function in Clients with Parkinson’s Disease
This study is evaluating the use of the Wii for therapy for PD patients, with the goal of proving that the objective measures of performance and adherence available with the Wii will result in better outcomes.

Project status (June 2012): Enrollment complete; results are being analyzed
Investigator: N. Ben Herz, OTD, MBA, OTR, Georgia Health and Sciences University
Country: USA

Visual Attention Deficits As An Early Sign of Cognitive Change
This study is exploring visual attention deficit as a symptom of Parkinson’s disease, yielding new insight into how Parkinson’s affects the brain and the manifestations of these symptoms.

Project status (June 2012): This study is close to ending enrollment and investigators will start analyzing data.
Investigator: Sherrilene Classen, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, University of Florida
Country: USA

Early Detection of Cognitive Changes in the Brain
This study is using advanced imaging techniques to study the mechanisms that lead to Parkinson’s-related cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease, a model pioneered successfully in Alzheimer’s disease.

Project status (June 2012): This study is still enrolling patients. Preliminary results suggest that there is a disruption of nigrostriatal and mesocortical dopamine in PD patients with mild cognitive impairment.
Investigator: Antonio Strafella, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Toronto Western Research Institute.
Country: Canada

Comparing Physical Therapy Outcomes: LSVT-BIG© v. Aquatic Methods
This study is comparing two new approaches to physical therapy for Parkinson’s disease with the potential to establish the efficacy of aquatic therapy, which is currently not covered by Medicare.

Project status (June 2012): This study is still enrolling patients
Investigator: David J. Houghton, MD, MPH, University of Louisville
Country: USA

Comparing PD Management Strategies: Comprehensive Service Delivery vs. Standard Care
This study is exploring the cost-effectiveness of coordinated care versus uncoordinated care in a controlled experiment.

Project status (June 2012): This study is still enrolling patients
Investigator: Robert Iansek, Ph.D., Victorian Comprehensive Parkinson Program
Country: Australia

Centers of Excellence Annual Funding

NPF Centers of Excellence offer patients access to an array of services that are not covered by insurance. To help centers with these costs, NPF provides most of its centers annual funding to be applied to the delivery of care. The chart below displays the programmatic areas that NPF supports within our Centers. The bar chart represents centers as a whole and the distribution of NPF dollars to the areas of direct care, outreach, research and education occurring within the centers.

Currently: 5 (3 ratings)