Udall Center of Excellence

Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research at the University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research is an integrated, multidisciplinary research program focused on development of new clinical treatments and therapeutic approaches to Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes debilitating movement symptoms and affects more than 1 million people in the US. The U-M Udall research program is in the vanguard of advancing our knowledge into the complex integration of motor degeneration, gait dysfunction and balance impairment in Parkinson's disease and the levodopa resistant symptoms of the disorder.

Led by William T. Dauer, M.D. and Roger L. Albin, M.D., the U-M Udall center conducts experimental, computational and human research to analyze the causes of cholinergic projections degeneration in the pathogenesis of gait dysfunction in Parkinson's disease. This kind of exploration, and data collecting, requires an integrative collaboration in which scientists share insight in ways that yield progress far beyond that achievable with a less cooperative approach. The U-M program’s central themes are the roles of cholinergic lesions in gait and balance abnormalities in PD and the development of novel treatment strategies targeted at cholinergic neurotransmission.

The University of Michigan Udall Center is a member of the Udall Parkinson's Disease Research Center network. Established in 1998 by Congress (in honor of former Congressman Morris K. Udall of Arizona who suffered from Parkinson's disease) and managed through the NIH, these centers foster cutting-edge scientific research into the underlying mechanisms and possible treatments for Parkinson's disease.