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 is currently running underway in 21 sites throughout the United States and Europe. It is expected to take about five years. The study team includes many clinicians and scientists who conduct research in Parkinson’s disease. It will be led by principal investigator Ken Marek, MD, President and Senior Scientist of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, New Haven, Connecticut. Expansion of the study to Australia will make this a truly global study.
What are biomarkers?
A biomarker can be any objectively measurable physical characteristic associated with the presence of disease (diagnostic marker), or any characteristic that changes over time in a way that can be tied to the progression of disease (progression marker). Examples from other health conditions include: Blood pressure, which is objectively and easily measured and, when high, acts as a diagnostic marker of potential heart disease; and, white blood cell count is a progression marker of leukaemia. A count that rises to abnormal levels indicates that the condition is getting worse, while a count that returns to normal indicates improvement.
Purpose of the 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.
Who Is Eligible to Enroll?
PPMI requires the participation of Parkinson’s patients who are newly diagnosed and are not currently taking standard PD medications and control patients – individuals who do not have PD and are not a first-degree relative of a PD patient. Participants must be at least 30 years of age.
Is Enrollment still open for this study
As the study has now commenced further enrollment for this study is now closed
READ ABOUT THE RESEARCH FINDINGS TO DATE FROM THE PPMI STUDY