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Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI)


The Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) is an observational research study to identify biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease (PD) progression. A biomarker is a substance or characteristic in our bodies that is associated with the presence of disease, or that changes over time in a way that can be linked to the progression of disease. An observational study means that study participants will undergo numerous tests and assessments of bodily processes related to PD, but will not receive an experimental drug or treatment.

This study will use a combination of imaging techniques, collection of blood, urine, and spinal fluid, and clinical tests. The information gathered from these procedures is critical to the future development of new and better treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

PPMI is the first clinical study to assemble a population of sufficient size to collect this information, draw meaningful scientific conclusions over time, and try to develop better ways to measure the progression of PD. The study will be conducted in the United States and Europe. It is expected to take about five years. It is being sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and will be made possible through the efforts of agencies interested in PD drug development. The study team includes many clinicians and scientists who conduct research in Parkinson’s disease. At the Parkinson’s Institute it will be led by site principal investigator Caroline Tanner, MD PhD.

Purpose of Research

The goal of the PPMI study is to identify one or more biomarkers of Parkinson's disease. The discovery of a biomarker of Parkinson’s disease is critical to the development of new and better treatments for PD, particularly treatments that could slow or stop the progression of the disease, something no currently available treatment can do. 

Basic Eligibility Criteria

PPMI requires the participation of 400 Parkinson's patients who are newly diagnosed and are not currently taking standard PD medications and 200 individuals who do not have PD. Participants must be at least 30 years of age.

Patient Participation

Interested participants will be provided with detailed information by the study team. Those who consent will be screened for eligibility. If enrolled, participants will undergo four patient visits in their first year, with visits twice a year thereafter.

Contact Information

For more information please contact The Parkinson's Institute (The PI) at 408-542-5664.

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