DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

Vision - To stop Parkinson’s disease by funding research through a partnership of scientists and consumers

Parkinson's Research Program Cover Image

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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a degenerative movement disorder of the central nervous system resulting from a loss of neurons in a region of the brain called the substantia nigra. These neurons produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter important for motor control; however, as PD progresses, the death of dopaminergic neurons results in reduced dopamine levels and impairment of motor control. The Parkinson’s Research Program (PRP; funded under the Neurotoxin Exposure Treatment Parkinson’s Research [NETPR] appropriation) was initiated in 1997 to provide support for research of exceptional scientific merit leading to an understanding of the cause, prevention, and treatment of the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra that result in PD. Projects examine neurodegenerative mechanisms and compensatory effects that compromise motor, autonomic, and cognitive systems that are characteristic alterations in PD patients and also present performance and health risks for military personnel.

Several risk factors for the development of PD that are of particular interest to the military community have been identified in peer-reviewed studies. The most significant risk factors include: exposure to agriculture-type chemicals (including pesticides, insecticides, and solvents); traumatic injury to the head; depression; prolonged physiologic or mental stress; repeated or prolonged disruption of sleep architecture; and repeated or prolonged disruption of autonomic nervous function. These may immediately impact both physical and cognitive performance as well as predispose susceptible Warfighters to the development of neurodegenerative conditions such as PD. The PRP challenges the scientific community to develop the most impactful research that will advance the understanding of the disease, with the ultimate goal of ending PD.


Congressional Appropriations

Congressional Appropriations

  • $404.75 million
    FY97-16
  • $16 million
    FY17

Funding Summary

Funding
Summary

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Peer Review Participants


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Vision

To stop Parkinson’s disease by funding research through a partnership of scientists and consumers.

Mission

Support research to understand, prevent, diagnose, and treat Parkinson’s disease in patients, including Service members and Veterans.


Last updated Friday, October 6, 2017