Call Our HELPLINE: 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636)

Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Opens $500,000 in Grant Funding, Urges Scientists to Address Key Unmet Needs in Patient Community

New Awards Fund Translational Patient-Driven Research Projects

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation® (PDF®) urges researchers to help solve, treat and end the unmet needs of the Parkinson’s community through its Translational Research Grants, an extension of the PDF Community Choice Research Awards Program. PDF’s investment of $500,000 will fund research projects to improve patient outcomes in four symptomatic areas identified by people living with the disease: cognitive change, dystonia A disorder in which muscles contract uncontrollably, causing abnormal movements and postures; can be very painful., fatigue and gastrointestinal dysfunction.

The PDF Community Choice Research Awards are the first grant awards in the Parkinson’s community to set research priorities based upon the insights of those living with the disease. Since the awards opened in 2013, the community has identified areas of need that, if addressed, could significantly improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s. In response, PDF has funded multidisciplinary working groups to identify strategies for solving, treating and ending each one. The new awards will advance that early work by jumpstarting translational research.

“These awards are an opportunity for scientists to make a direct impact on the lives of people with Parkinson’s,” said James Beck, Ph.D., Vice President, Scientific Affairs, PDF. “While PDF’s ultimate goal remains finding a cure, it is also vital that we help people live better today.”

PDF welcomes clinical, pre-clinical, or basic research proposals that will directly impact our understanding of four target symptomatic areas in Parkinson’s — cognitive change, dystonia, fatigue and gastrointestinal dysfunction — as outlined below. Funds are available for one year with levels of support varying based upon the project needs, and capped at $100,000 per award.

Targeted Reverse Translation Areas

  • Cognitive Change: Proposals should address gaps of knowledge, which include: the heterogeneity of cognitive change in Parkinson’s, risk factors for cognitive decline, biomarkers of cognitive change, the relationship of cognition to other non-motor symptoms, the role of nutrition or exercise in cognitive change and the relationship of patient-reported outcomes to clinical measures of functional impairment.
  • Dystonia: Proposals should address gaps in knowledge, which include: the role of dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic transmitters in dystonia, the identification of circuit-level or molecular changes that are key to driving dystonic movements in Parkinson’s and the identification of novel therapeutic targets for treatment. Also of interest are the development of models relevant to dystonia in Parkinson's and the characterization of a clinical study population best suited for studies (e.g., imaging).
  • Fatigue: Gaps in knowledge and possible research directions are summarized by PDF working groups in Friedman et al. 2016 (DOI: 10.1038/npjparkd.2015.25) and Kluger et al. 2016 (DOI: 10.1002/mds.26511). Proposals should seek to uncover the pathophysiologic basis of fatigue as well as further characterize phenomenological and epidemiological aspects of fatigue in Parkinson’s. Potential lines of research could examine biofluids for potential markers of fatigue or utilize fMRI or nuclear imaging to identify the neural basis to fatigue or the potential role of neuroinflammation.
  • Gastrointestinal Dysfunction: Proposals should address gaps in knowledge, which include: the need to accurately define Parkinson’s disease constipation and describe its phenomenology and the need to develop screening questionnaires to adequately collect relevant data. Investigations into the pathophysiology and natural history of constipation in Parkinson’s, using tools for motility monitoring or smartphone applications to facilitate frequent data collection, are also of interest.

Through the PDF Community Choice Research Awards, we asked, we listened and we engaged the community. Now, we invite scientists to help us find solutions,” said Daniel Novak, Ph.D., of Fort Worth, TX, Chair, PDF People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council. “It is encouraging to know that because of PDF’s vision, researchers will have the means to study some of the most debilitating, yet under-recognized aspects of Parkinson’s disease.”

Proposals that involve collaboration across disciplines and with the patient community are encouraged. Award decisions will be made in January 2017.

PDF will open its third survey for the Community Choice Research Awards to people with Parkinson’s and care partners in September 2016 to solicit additional feedback on unmet needs.

Thursday, July 21, 2016
Parkinson’s Foundation Awards New Nurse Faculty Grant to Four Nurses Specializing in Parkinson’s Care
Thursday, October 11, 2018

NEW YORK & MIAMI — October 11, 2018 — The Parkinson’s Foundation announced that it has awarded its first-ever Parkinson’s Foundation Nurse Faculty Award to four nurses, totaling $30,000. The nurses, all graduates of the Edmond J.

Update on NUPLAZID — FDA finds no new or unexpected safety risks
Friday, September 21, 2018

On September 20, 2018, the U.S.

Parkinson’s Foundation Extends Bilingual National Helpline Hours
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

NEW YORK & MIAMI — September 18, 2018 — The Parkinson’s Foundation announced today that its toll-free Helpline, 1-800-4PD-INFO, will extend its hours, answering calls in English and Spanish, to help make life better for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their families.

Parkinson’s Foundation Hosts Allied Team Training for Parkinson’s in Atlanta
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

NEW YORK & MIAMI—September 11, 2018—The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced the location of its signature professional education program course, Allied Team Training for Parkinson’s, ATTP®, for health care professionals treating patients with Parkinson’s disease, in Atlanta.

Parkinson’s Foundation Increases Funding to $6.2 Million to Advance Parkinson’s Research
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

NEW YORK & MIAMI — August 14, 2018 — The Parkinson’s Foundation announced today an increased investment of $6.2 million across 53 research grants to support the work of promising scientists in the field of Parkinson's disease (PD) in 2018.

PD Gladiators Merges with the Parkinson’s Foundation Expanding Reach in Greater Atlanta Parkinson’s Community
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

ATLANTA – August 1, 2018—PD Gladiators, Inc., an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization focused on combatting Parkinson’s disease (PD) with vigorous exercise, has merged with the Parkinson’s Foundation (PF), a non-profit organization whose mission is to make life better for people with PD worldwide through expert care and research.

Parkinson’s Foundation Partners with Medscape Education to Deliver Patient Education
Monday, July 30, 2018

July 30, 2018—The Parkinson’s Foundation has collaborated with Medscape Education to launch an online learning program entitled “Parkinson’s Disease Psychosis: A Learning Destination for Care Partners and Patients,” available on Medscape’s patient portal, WebMD Education.

Parkinson’s Foundation Designates Three Centers of Excellence in Parkinson’s Care: Global Network Expands to 45 Parkinson’s Centers
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

MIAMI & NEW YORK CITY — July 24, 2018 — The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced the addition of three new Centers of Excellence to its global network: Cleveland Clinic; Medical University of South Carolina; and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Parkinson’s Foundation Funds $450,000 for Local Parkinson’s Programs in Seven Cities Across the Country
Monday, July 23, 2018

NEW YORK & MIAMI — July 23, 2018 — The Parkinson's Foundation today announced it will fund nearly $450,000 to local community grants in seven cities that hosted the Foundation's annual fundraiser, Moving Day, A Walk for Parkinson's, in 2017. These grants will further the health, wellness and education of people with Parkinson's disease (PD).

In Memory of Robert Traurig
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Parkinson’s Foundation mourns the loss of emeritus board member Robert (Bob) Traurig. From 2004 to 2015, he was a member of the Foundation’s board of directors. Bob is survived by his wife Jacqueline, his daughters Madeline Sackel and Wendy Traurig.


mail icon

Subscribe here to get the latest news on treatments, research and other updates.