Center for Neurodegenerative Science


Between seven and 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological condition marked by tremor, rigidity and the gradual loss of voluntary movement, along with a host of other symptoms such as loss of sense of smell, cognitive issues, depression, constipation, trouble sleeping and pain.

Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s and there are no treatment strategies that slow or stop disease progression. But thanks to recent advances, scientists in the Institute’s Center for Neurodegenerative Science and collaborators around the world are narrowing down the factors that contribute to the disease and working to translate these findings into new, life-changing therapies.

The Center also is investigating other diseases caused by progressive damage to the brain, including Alzheimer’s disease and multiple system atrophy (MSA), as well as the biological basis of depression.


Recent Publications

Pierce SE, Booms A, Prahl J, van der Schans EJC, Tyson T, Coetzee GA. 2020. Post-GWAS knowledge gap: the how, where and when. npj Parkinsons 6:23.

Marshall LL, Killinger BA, Ensink E, Li P, Li KX, Cui W, Lubben N, Weiland M, Wang X, Gordevicius J, Coetzee GA, Ma J, Jovinge S, Labrie V. 2020. Epigenomic analysis of Parkinson’s disease neurons identifies Tet2 loss as neuroprotective. Nat Neuro.

Nguyen APT, Tsika E, Kelly K, Levine N, Chen X, West AB, Boularand S, Barneoud P, Moore DJ. 2020. Dopaminergic neurodegeneration induced by Parkinson’s disease-linked G2019S LRRK2 is dependent on kinase and GTPase activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.

Li P, Ensink E, Lang S, Marshall L, Schilthuis M, Lamp J, Vega I, Labrie V. 2020. Hemispheric asymmetry in the human brain and in Parkinson’s disease is linked to divergent epigenetic patterns in neurons. Genome Biol 21:61.

Sundal C, Carmona S, Yhr M, Almström O, Ljungberg M, Hardy J, Hedberg-Oldfors C, Fred Å, Brás J, Oldfors A, Andersen O, Guerreiro R. 2019.An AARS variant as the likely cause of Swedish type hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids. Acta Neuropathol Commun.

Nalls MA…Brás J…Singleton AB, System Genomics of Parkinson’s Disease Consortium and International Parkinson’s Disease Genomics Consortium 2019. Identification of novel risk loci, causal insights, and heritable risk for Parkinson’s disease: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. Lancet Neuro.

Achtyes E, Keaton SA, Smart L, Burmeister AR, Heilman PL, Krzyzanowski S, Nagalla M, Guillemin GJ, Escobar Galvis ML, Lim CK, Muzik M, Postolache TT, Leach R, Brundin L. 2019. Inflammation and kynurenine pathway dysregulation in post-partum women with severe and suicidal depression. Brain Behav Immun.


Save the date for Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease and Rallying to the Challenge!
This year’s symposium and parallel patient meeting will be held Sept. 23–24, and will address when and how Parkinson’s starts. Learn more at grandchallengesinpd.org.