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The National Parkinson Foundation Answers 50,000 Helpline Calls

MIAMI — The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) announced today that their toll-free Helpline, 1-800-4PD-INFO, has achieved a major milestone: the Helpline reached its 50,000th caller. The lifesaving NPF Helpline, launched in 2010, is staffed by a team of patient-focused nurses, social workers and therapists who answer calls about Parkinson’s disease (PD) in English and in Spanish Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

“NPF’s Helpline links our groundbreaking research to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s today directly with the community we serve,” said John Kozyak, NPF’s Chairman of the Board. “I know this first hand because the Helpline has made a difference in the life of my mother, who is living with Parkinson’s. Research is how we make a lasting impact, but it makes me proud every time I refer a person to the Helpline because I know we will improve that person’s life right away.” (Continue reading below)


“We’re more than just an information line. We truly care about the people we serve and that’s the key to our success,” said Adolfo Diaz, NPF’s Director of Patient Services who manages the Helpline. “Whether you have yet to receive a diagnosis, are recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s, or caring for a family member with the disease, we are here to help you understand your condition, your care, and the latest research on how patients can live their best lives with Parkinson’s. We spend as much as 45 minutes on calls with those who have been recently diagnosed – more than three times the average – because we can really make a difference.”

NPF’s Helpline Specialists help callers locate resources in their area, as well as send a customized informational packet after the call. The NPF packets arm people with Parkinson’s and their families with helpful information on preparing for an appointment with their general practitioner or movement disorder specialist. People with Parkinson’s disease, their care partners and families are invited to call to receive emotional support and referrals to health professionals and community resources. A wide variety of helpful NPF publications and the Aware in Care kit are also available for order through the Helpline.

“Helpline callers help educate us, as well. The first news of a Parkinson’s medication shortage came to us through the Helpline, and we were able to find the information we needed to help people with Parkinson’s get the medicine they needed. We also have learned about the impact of the Medicare therapy caps, challenges with newly-approved medications, and other issues that have made NPF a better champion for the needs of the Parkinson’s community,”  said Peter Schmidt, PhD, NPF’s Senior Vice President and Chief Mission Officer.

NPF also has an online video series called, “Ask the Helpline,” where our PD Specialists answer the most frequently asked questions including: why exercise is important, what role a movement disorder specialist plays and how the role of caregiver changes over time.

The NPF Helpline is made possible through the support of generous donors in the Parkinson’s community.  People with questions about PD may also e-mail the NPF Helpline at

About Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
Affecting an estimated one million Americans and four to six million worldwide, Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. There is no cure for PD and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.

Monday, November 23, 2015
In Memory of Edythe Kay Marsa
Monday, March 12, 2018

The Parkinson’s Foundation mourns the loss of emeritus board member, Edythe (Edy) Kay Marsa. From 1993 to 2014, she was a member of the Foundation’s board of directors and served on several committees. Edy is survived by her husband William Marsa, who founded the Herbert Kay Parkinson Chapter in honor of her first husband who passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s Foundation Announces New Genetic Initiative Connecting Parkinson’s Genetic Data with Clinical Care
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

MIAMI & NEW YORK—March 6, 2018—The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced a new initiative offering genetic testing and counseling to Parkinson’s patients within its Center of Excellence network.

Delegates From The Parkinson’s Community Converge On Capitol Hill To Advocate For Critical Research Funding
Monday, March 5, 2018

—2018 Parkinson’s Policy Forum Co-Sponsored by the Parkinson’s Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research—

Parkinson’s Foundation Appoints Jena E. Abernathy to Board of Directors
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

MIAMI – February 27, 2018 –  The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced the election of Jena E. Abernathy to its board of directors.

Parkinson’s Foundation Moving Day Walks Fund Local Parkinson’s Programs in Seven Cities for Spring 2018
Friday, February 16, 2018

NEW YORK & MIAMI, FEBRUARY 16, 2018 — The Parkinson’s Foundation is proud to announce that Moving Day, A Walk for Parkinson’s, has funded more than $17 million in mission services to make life better for people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Terranova’s Stephen Bittel Donates $450,000 to Parkinson’s Foundation to Support Expansion of Centers of Excellence Network
Thursday, February 1, 2018

MIAMI – February 1, 2018 – The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced that Stephen Bittel, chairman and founder of Terranova, has made a $450,000 donation to support the expansion of the foundation’s Centers o

Largest Clinical Study of Parkinson’s Disease Reaches 10,000-Patient Milestone, Reveals Critical Learnings
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

NEW YORK & MIAMI - January 10, 2018 - The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced the enrollment of the 10,000th Parkinson’s patient and the discovery of critical new learnings in what represents the largest clinical study of Parkinson’s disease in history.

Parkinson's Foundation Mourns the Loss of Harold P. Kravitz and His Daughter, the Honorable Shelley J. Kravitz
Friday, January 5, 2018

Today we mourn the loss of two prominent figures in the history of the Parkinson's Foundation: Harold P. Kravitz, Esq. and his daughter, the Honorable Shelley J. Kravitz.

Parkinson's Foundation Mourns the Loss of Robert Burke, MD
Friday, January 5, 2018

The Parkinson’s Foundation mourns the loss of Robert Burke, MD, professor of Neurology at Columbia University, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence. He was a former member of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) Scientific Advisory Board and led the PDF Research Center at Columbia.

Parkinson's Foundation Study Finds Gender Disparities in Caregiving, with Women at a Disadvantage
Monday, December 4, 2017

Largest Clinical Study Tracking Parkinson’s Patients Over Time Shows Women with Parkinson’s Have Fewer Caregiving Resources than Men with Parkinson’s


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