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Feature:
Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's Disease Research at NIH

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The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) maintains extensive research information and a directory of organizations that can answer questions and provide printed or electronic materials on all of the areas of its research:

What Research Is Being Done?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is the nation's leading funder of research on Parkinson's disease. The goals are to better understand and diagnose the disease, develop new treatments, and, ultimately, prevent Parkinson's.

NINDS also supports training of the next generation of researchers and clinicians, and serves as an important source of information for people with Parkinson's and their families. The Institute conducts and supports three types of research:

  • basic—scientific discoveries in the laboratory;
  • clinical—development and study of therapeutic approaches, and
  • translational—focus on tools and resources that speed development of therapeutics into practice.

The Parkinson's Disease-Biomarkers Programs (PDBP), a major NINDS initiative, aims to discover how to identify those at risk for Parkinson's and to track its progression. Identifying biomarkers—signs that may indicate risk for and improve diagnosis of a disease—will speed development of new Parkinson's treatments.

The NINDS also collaborates with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) on BioFIND, a project collecting biological samples and clinical data from healthy volunteers and those with Parkinson's. For more information on how to get involved, please visit http://pdbp.ninds.nih.gov/.

The NINDS Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research program is a central component of NINDS Parkinson's research to find the causes of Parkinson's and better diagnose and treat people with the disease. The NINDS currently funds 10 Udall Centers across the country, where researchers are examining the disease's mechanisms, the genetic contributions to Parkinson's, and potential therapeutic targets and treatment strategies. To learn more, see www.ninds.nih.gov/research/parkinsonsweb/udall_centers/index.htm.

Parkinson's Disease Clinical Studies offer an opportunity now, and hope for the future, for researchers to find better ways to safely detect, treat, or prevent Parkinson's. NINDS conducts clinical studies on Parkinson's disease at the NIH research campus in Bethesda, Maryland, and supports Parkinson's studies at medical research centers throughout the United States.

Current Parkinson's studies include ones on genetics, biomarkers, experimental therapies and other treatment options, diagnostic imaging, brain control and movement disorders, DBS, and exercise.

Studies depend on volunteers. By participating in a clinical study, both healthy individuals and people with Parkinson's can help to make a difference and improve the quality of life for everyone threatened with this disorder. For more information, see http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=Parkinson's+disease+AND+NINDS.

Winter 2014 Issue: Volume 8 Number 4 Page 11