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History & Mission

About the WPC

The World Parkinson Coalition®provides the only international forum on Parkinson's disease that invites all stakeholders to learn about the latest scientific discoveries, medical practices, and care initiatives that improve the lives of people living with Parkinson's disease. By bringing the full Parkinson's community together, including people living with Parkinson's, we hope to expedite the discovery of new treatments for this devastating disease until a cure is found.

Global Recognition

The WPC is a young organization and while it's only hosted four World Parkinson Congresses since it was launched, it's been recognized by the global meetings industry with two prestigious awards for the unique format of including people with Parkinson's and for it's impactful "Parkinson's Ready" program where we train the local front of house staff (hotels, airport, convention center, taxi drivers etc)  so they are better prepared to work with our delegates, particularly those who are living with Parkinson's disease.

WPC was used as the case study by the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau to win the "ICCA Best Marketing Award" in 2011.

WPC was awarded the "Incredible Impacts Award in 2017 for its unique "Parkinson's Ready" program and full inclusion of people with Parkinson's in every planning decision made leading up to the Congress. Read more about the WPC Parkinson's Ready program which was highlighted in the Boardroom Magazine in 2018.

Mission & Purpose

The World Parkinson Coalition® helps advance understanding of Parkinson's disease by creating the only totally inclusive international platform for the community to share knowledge and spark new research agendas across the Parkinson's field.

To ensure that this mission is achieved, the WPC will make every effort to engage and draw upon resources from the global PD communities to create a venue for discussing and learning about:
--basic scientific research that is helping to advance our understanding of the origins and progression of Parkinson's;
--translational and clinical science that will help slow the progression of the disease and ease its impact on those with Parkinson's;
--models of care delivery that can assure the best possible quality of life for people with Parkinson's, their families and caregivers;
--national and international approaches to curing Parkinson's -- including government, professional societies and voluntary associations representing patients and families -- that can help build a sustained worldwide effort to better understand, combat and ultimately conquer Parkinson's disease.

The official language of the Congress is English. World Parkinson Congresses are open to citizens of ALL countries.


The World Parkinson Coalition® was first formed in 2004, shortly before the 1st World Parkinson Congress, also known as the WPC 2006.

The idea for the Congress came from a meeting held in 2002 in Washington, DC. Dr. Elias Zerhouni, the then head of the National Institutes of Health, asked some of the leaders in the community why a meeting inclusive of all those touched by Parkinson's did not exist and suggested that they consider hosting one. He planted the seed and it was Robin Elliott, then President of the US based Parkinson's Disease Foundation, now known as the Parkinson's Foundation, who approached Dr. Stanley Fahn with the idea. He suggested that if Dr. Fahn would help launch the new nonprofit and head it as President, that PF would help with the initial legwork to get the new organization off the ground.

In 2004, the organization gained it's nonprofit status, hired its first member of staff, and worked with nearly 60 volunteer committee members to design and plan the first WPC in February 2006 in Washington, DC. The program design in 2006 was led by Howard Federoff, MD, PhD who at the time was at Rochester University and is now at Georgetown University. The first WPC was deemed a success with over 3,150 delegates from 56 countries. In 2010, under the programmatic design leadership of Ted Dawson, MD, PhD from John's Hopkins University the WPC 2010 program was designed and the more than 80 volunteer committee members worked to make WPC 2010 a success with more than 3,000 delegates coming from nearly 70 countries.

The WPC 2013 was held in Montreal Canada in October 2013 and welcomed 3,334 delegates from 64 countries. The program was designed under the leadership of Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD from New York, NY, USA with co-chairs Oscar Gershanik, MD from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bastiaan Bloem, MD, PhD from the Netherlands, and Israel Robledo, from Texas, USA. More than 100 volunteer committee members helped make the WPC 2013 a success.

For the first time in WPC history, the organization had Ambassadors. These 12 inaugural WPC 2013 Ambassadors came from eight countries and all but one were living with Parkinson's. They worked tirelessly to promote the WPC, raise awareness about Parkinson's, collect signatures for the Global Parkinson's Pledge and encourage people to attend the WPC 2013.

The fourth World Parkinson Congress was held in Portland, Oregon. The congress welcomed its largest delegation yet with 4,546 attendees from 67 countries. For the first time ever, a leadership forum was help for the World Parkinson Coalition's organizational partners to share their best strategies for improving outreach and awareness around Parkinson's disease.

The fifth World Parkinson Congress was held in Kyoto, Japan. The congress welcomed 2,777 delegates from 60 countries. 

Plans are now underway for the 6th World Parkinson Congress to be held in Barcelona, Spain from June 7-10, 2022.

Join us in June 2022 at the WPC 2022 to help us make history, once again.


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