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What We Fund: Parkinson’s Skin Test, Antioxidant Treatment and Brain Change Tracking

What We Fund: Parkinson’s Skin Test, Antioxidant Treatment and Brain Change Tracking

The Michael J. Fox Foundation funds promising Parkinson's disease (PD) science to ensure new ideas flow into the pipeline and drive urgently needed breakthroughs for people living with the disease. Through open funding programs and staff-directed grants, the Foundation speeds efforts to grow our understanding of Parkinson's biology and clinical experience, measure PD pathology and progression, and develop therapies to alleviate symptoms and slow or stop disease.

In the first quarter of 2018, we funded projects exploring new therapeutic candidates and targets, such as genes linked to mitochondrial self-eating, a normal process disrupted in PD. Other studies we funded focused on detecting signs of Parkinson’s through brain scans and blood tests. Click the links below to read more on these projects.

For a full list of MJFF-supported projects, visit our funded grants page.

Testing New Therapies
Experts are testing new ways to protect brain cells to slow or stop disease progression, and looking at novel treatments for troublesome non-motor symptoms.

Searching for New Therapeutic Targets
To learn more about PD and how we may stop it, two new projects look for genes involved in Parkinson’s in general and in a normal process of breaking down the cell’s powerhouses, mitochondria, which is disrupted in PD.

Measuring Disease Outside the Brain
A great need for reliable methods to measure and monitor disease is fueling the search for biological markers of PD in blood, spinal fluid and skin.

Analyzing Big Data to Understand Disease
With sophisticated data analysis tools, scientists are searching large research databases -- such as from the MJFF-sponsored Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative -- for patterns that may help understand and measure PD.


Anna Boyum, PhD, is a freelance writer and editor.

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