A person's risk of developing Parkinson's disease (PD) is determined by both genetic and environmental factors. Uncovering these genes and environmental exposures might lead to the development of more effective strategies for early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of PD.

The Parkinson's Genetic Research Study (PaGeR), headed by Dr. Cyrus Zabetian, is searching for genes that increase the risk of developing PD and related disorders. The study is a joint effort by neurologists and researchers across the United States and has been sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of VA Puget Sound. The coordinating center for PaGeR is located at the University of Washington and the VA Puget Sound in Seattle.

PaGeR is currently focusing on families in which two or more people have been diagnosed with PD. Past research suggests that such "multiplex" families might hold the key to the discovery of new PD genes.