PCO research

The OHSU Parkinson Center has a long history of research committed to improving the lives of people who have Parkinson's disease (PD) and other movement disorders. The goal of this research has always been to find the cure, to delay the progress, to allay disability, to find new treatments and to improve the quality of life. The National Parkinsons Foundation designated OHSU as a center of research excellence to acknowledge our years of hard work. The research team at the OHSU Parkinson Center understands that they can not accomplish these ambitious goals alone. Thus, the OHSU Parkinson Center is truly a hub of research collaborations with expert scientists and clinicians at OHSU, in the Pacific Northwest, and throughout the world.

Weekly meetings between doctors and nurses who work in the clinic and research scientists helps assure that discoveries in the lab are expediently translated into new medications and therapies to use in the clinic.

In fact, the OHSU Parkinson Center participated in research regarding safety and effectiveness of essentially every new drug which has been approved for use in PD over the last two decades. This rich research heritage continues today with a focus on the following areas of current PD research:

  • Neuroprotection/ Neuroregeneration
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Effects of medication on brain chemistry
  • New drug therapies
  • Genetics
  • Balance and gait
  • Impact of PD on friends, family, and caregivers
  • Exercise
  • Early detection of PD
  • Biomarkers
  • Basic science work to understand chemical changes in the brain in PD. Therapies for other movement disorders including Huntington's disease, dystonia, restless legs syndrome, and other more rare diseases