About Parkinson Disease

Parkinson Disease

Parkinson Disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative movement disorder and the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer Disease. PD affects up to 2% of the population aged over 65 years, and close to 4% of those older than 85 years old. Approximately 15% of the PD patients have a positive family history for disease.

Historically, PD is defined as a disorder caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Genetic research in the last decades has greatly increased the understanding of the mechanisms causing PD through the identification of both causal factors and factors increasing one’s risk.

The Miami Morris K. Udall Parkinson Disease Research Center of Excellence focuses on the identification of rare genetic variants with intermediate risk effects for PD. We hypothesize that a combination of several of these rare variants – but not each individually – is sufficient to cause PD (“common disease, rare variant” hypothesis). Learn more on the Miami Udall Center website.