Our Research

Exciting programs that lead to better care, pathways to new treatments, and ultimately a cure.

Researcher testing vials in lab

Better treatment starts with better research. Some people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) live well for decades with only minimal impact from their disease. We focus our research on understanding how these people — and their doctors — achieve these excellent results. Our goal is to help others apply what we learn to their own unique experience.

The Parkinson’s Foundation funds research through these main programs dedicated to finding the cause, and ultimately, a cure for PD:

  • Centers of Excellence Network: We designate the top academic medical centers dedicated to Parkinson’s care as Centers of Excellence. These centers combine expert care with groundbreaking research. Through this program, we are raising the standard of care for everyone with Parkinson’s. The Foundation provides annual funding to each designated center.
  • Parkinson’s Outcomes Project: Our signature clinical study of how people with Parkinson’s thrive. This groundbreaking initiative is the largest-ever clinical study of Parkinson’s, with more than 13,000 patients enrolled across our Parkinson’s Foundation Centers of Excellence.
  • Research Centers: These designated academic or medical institutions are dedicated to creating and furthering innovative Parkinson’s research that can advance the understanding and treatment of Parkinson's. Each center manages at least three interconnected PD research studies.
  • PD GENEration: Mapping the future of Parkinson’s Disease: Our national initiative is the first-of-its-kind that offers free genetic testing for clinically relevant Parkinson's-related genes and free genetic counseling to help participants better understand their results.
  • Grants and Fellowship Awards: Our grants support investigators through funding to junior faculty, movement disorder fellows and researchers. These competitive awards and grants keep researchers in the PD field while continuously funding opportunities that lead to new advances.

We are focused on the next Parkinson’s disease breakthrough while working to bring expert care access to everyone living with PD to ensure they achieve the best results now. We’ve already shown that our model of Parkinson’s care — the highest standard of care — reduces complications and dramatically increases quality of life.

The Latest in Research

Finding a Cure

Breakthrough scientific research that improves care for everyone living with Parkinson’s is at the heart of our mission. Find out how we advance research and work towards ending Parkinson’s.

Join Our Genetics Study

Understanding your genetic tie to Parkinson’s can be empowering. PD GENEration offers genetic testing for PD-related genes and genetic counseling.

Key Findings That Matter

Differences in care dramatically impact daily life with Parkinson’s. Our Parkinson’s Outcomes Project findings can help you advocate for your best care.

Our research is leading to care and treatment breakthroughs that bring hope to thousands of people and families.

Our research has shown that:

  • Regular neurologist care can save the lives of thousands of people with PD each year
  • Depression and anxiety are the number one factors impacting the overall health of people living with PD

  • People with PD receive different medicines and treatment plans depending on where they receive care, with vastly different results

Grant Awards

Every year, we fund the most exciting and promising research ideas in the Parkinson’s field. The next breakthrough can occur anywhere, which is why in 2021 we awarded $3.4 million across 34 research grants currently underway in labs at medical centers, neurologist offices and universities.

Learn more about our grants and awards

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