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

Li P, Marshall L, Oh G, Jakubowski JL, Groot D, He Y, Wang T, Petronis A, Labrie V. 2019. Epigenetic dysregulation of enhancers in neurons is associated with Alzheimer’s disease pathology and cognitive declineNat Commun.

Pai S, Li P, Killinger B, Marshall L, Jia P, Liao J, Petronis A, Szabó P, Labrie V. 2019. Differential methylation of enhancer at IGF2 is associated with abnormal dopamine synthesis in major psychosis. Nat Comm.

Keaton SA, Madaj ZB, Heilman P, Smart L, Grit J, Gibbons R, Postolache TT, Roaten K, Achtyes ED, Brundin L. 2019. An inflammatory profile linked to increased suicided risk. J Affect Disord 247:57 65.

Chen X, Kordich JK, Williams ET, Levine N, Cole-Strauss A, Marshall L, Labrie V, Ma J, Lipton JW, Moore DJ. 2019. Parkinson’s disease-linked D620N VPS35 knockin mice manifest tau neuropathology and dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.

Wang X, Becker K, Levine N, Zhang M, Lieberman AP, Moore DJ, Ma J. 2019. Pathogenic alpha-synuclein aggregates preferentially bind to mitochondria and affect cellular respiration. Acta Neuropathol Commun 7(1):41.

Chatterjee D, Sanchez DS, Quansah E, Rey NL, George S, Becker K, Madaj Z, Steiner JA, Ma J, Escobar Galvis ML, Kordower JH, Brundin P. 2019. Loss of one engrailed1 allele enhances induced alpha-synucleinopathy.  J Parkinsons Dis 9(2):315–326.


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 Aug. 21–22, and will address understanding genetic risk in Parkinson’s. Learn more at grandchallengesinpd.org.