Our Research

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Degenerative disorders of the brain, including Parkinson’s, are becoming more common in our ageing population. Established in 2010, the Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre (OPDC) has rapidly developed an international-leading research program. We have collected one of the biggest and best-studied cohorts of people with Parkinson's in the world, developed an innovative programme of Parkinson’s brain imaging and blood-based tests, established the largest research program in Europe using stem cells to study Parkinson's, and performed extensive characterisation of new mouse and rat models of early Parkinson's.

In the second phase of our programme (2015-2020), we will build on our increasing knowledge of disease mechanisms in Parkinson’s to develop research aimed at changing how people with Parkinson’s are treated, focussing directly on what matters most to individuals living with Parkinson’s worldwide.

  • The OPDC Discovery Cohort will provide a wealth of data to better understand how Parkinson's progresses in different ways in different people, which has the potential to provide valuable information to patients early during diagnosis.
  • We are developing a range of new clinical tests, combining our established work in functional brain imaging and blood tests with a new project using voice recognition, to be better able to predict the onset of Parkinson's.
  • We will continue to use recent advances in stem cell technology to grow and study neurons from skin cells taken by simple biopsy from people with Parkinson’s to identify potential targets for treatments which we can then test in our genetic animal models of Parkinson’s.
  • Together, the range of cell and animal models available in the OPDC, combined with unrivalled Oxford expertise in anatomy and physiology, will allow us to test disease modifying treatments that will ultimately translate into new therapies to prevent Parkinson’s in our at risk groups and slow progression in established Parkinson’s.


Our research is structured around three overlapping themes:

1. Improved clinical cohorts for development of novel biomarkers

2. Improved cellular and genetic models of Parkinson's pathologies and pathways

3. Novel animal models of early neuronal dysfunction in Parkinson's


Watch the video below for an overview of OPDC's research.



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