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PPMI Study Overview

Parkinson’s disease impacts millions of individuals and their families, and currently available treatments only temporarily alleviate symptoms. There is no therapy to prevent, slow or stop Parkinson’s progression.

Identifying a Parkinson’s biological marker (an objectively measurable characteristic whose presence or change over time can be correlated to risk or progression of disease) would speed research to new treatments through:

  • Earlier diagnosis to one day treat symptoms sooner or even prevent their onset
  • Better disease tracking to help patients and clinicians better manage a treatment regimen and researchers choose participants for studies
  • More efficient testing of new therapies to improve the odds of success and reduce costs and timelines to get more treatments to market

The Michael J. Fox Foundation launched the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) in 2010 to validate biological markers of Parkinson’s to speed research to cures. PPMI captures clinical and imaging data and biological samples from participants over at least five years. More than 1,500 volunteers are enrolled across various cohorts: individuals with de novo Parkinson’s disease, control participants, people with clinical risk factors of smell loss or REM sleep behavior disorder, and affected and unaffected carriers of Parkinson’s-associated genetic mutations. PPMI takes place at 33 clinical sites around the world and is made possible, in part, through the partnership of 20 industry groups. PPMI data is made available to qualified researchers and has been downloaded more than 1 million times. Learn more at