Parkinson’s Disease 

About Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition, where a group of neurons degenerate over time causing worsening symptoms. 

Generally first noticed as movement disorders of resting tremor and slowness of movement, Parkinson’s often also includes other non-motor symptoms from cognitive impairment to loss of smell.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease affecting over 6 million people worldwide, and in the UK 80 people are newly diagnosed with it every day. Similar to other neurodegenerative diseases, a minority of patients with Parkinson’s carry genetic mutations that constitute a major risk for the disease, but in the majority of cases it is unknown why particular types of neurons degenerate.

The specific neurons that are lost in Parkinson’s disease are those that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. Current treatment is largely limited to replacing dopamine, but this only alleviates some of the movement symptoms, and doesn’t slow the progression of the disease.

Our aims

Over the next 5 years, we aim to:

In the future, developing further models to study Parkinson’s disease in the laboratory, combined with continued drug screening, will allow more candidate therapies to be advanced into experimental medicine trials in patients. 

We are working with our colleagues in the Imaging theme to develop brain scanning techniques that will allow us not only to verify theories about what happens in the neurons that degenerate in Parkinson’s disease, but that furthermore may help to objectively measure whether new candidate treatments hit those targets in patients. 

If robust readouts of whether a drug engages with its target are established, then taking any promising new therapy from early phase clinical trials to larger scale later phase multi-centre studies will be more achievable.

Q&A video

Watch a Parkinson's disease Q&A with Professor Oliver Bandmann from the University of Sheffield.


Visit Professor Oliver Bandmann's webpage on the University of Sheffield Website

Professor Oliver Bandmann

Parkinson's Disease Sub Theme Lead 

Visit Professor Heather Mortiboy's webpage on the University of Sheffield Website

Prof. Heather Mortiboys

Visit Dr Richard Mead's webpage on the University of Sheffield Website

Dr. Richard Mead

Visit Dr Kurt De Vos' webpage on the University of Sheffield Website

Dr. Kurt De Vos

Prof. Karl Herholz 

Dr. Joumana Janbieh

Dr. Richard Grunewald 

Dr. Tom Payne

Visit Professor Sherif El-Khamisy's webpage on the University of Sheffield Website

Prof. Sherif El-Khamisy 

Visit Professor Mimoun Azzouz's webpage on the University of Sheffield Website

Prof. Mimoun Azzouz 


Sheffield BRC > Research themes > Neuroscience > Parkinson’s Disease