The search for a Parkinsonís disease (PD) biomarker is a complex one, so a large-scale effort like the Parkinsonís Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) is critical to making potential breakthroughs. In 2010, PPMI was launched to be the kind of collaborative solution that could support the PD research community and accelerate this search. When the study began, many were skeptical that PPMI could overcome the challenges of building the infrastructure to enroll enough participants and orchestrate the logistics to carry out the multi-year investigation. Now, less than three years later, with $55 million invested thus far, itís evident that PPMI is not only possible, but becoming a new model for research.†
A major benchmark for PPMI was reached today: Recruitment of the original study has been successfully completed and 400 people with Parkinsonís and 200 age-matched controls are now actively participating in the initiative at 24 sites around the globe.
Now, on the heels of its early successes, PPMI is expanding. This month, the study will begin recruitment of an additional study arm focused on the same mission of identifying progression markers, but with the goal to do so earlier in the disease process, before the onset of motor symptoms.
This new pre-motor arm will focus on three of the most researched signs that have been shown to be risk factors of PD: people who suffer from a reduced sense of smell; those with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD); and individuals with a mutation in the LRRK2 gene (the single greatest genetic contributor to PD known to date). PPMI study sites will conduct similar tests and collect the same biospecimens in these individuals as they do in the original PPMI study.
How to get involved: