Dr Ray Dorsey Neurologist, Parkinson’s Specialist & Author

An interview with Dr Ray Dorsey Neurologist, Parkinson’s Specialist & Author on September 12, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.



Dr. Ray Dorsey is the David M. Levy Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester. Ray is working to identify and eliminate the root causes of Parkinson’s disease. His research on brain diseases and digital health has been published in leading academic journals and featured in multiple news outlets. In 2020, Ray and his colleagues wrote Ending Parkinson’s Disease, a book that provides a prescription for ending the world’s fastest growing brain disease.


Ray previously directed the movement disorders division and neurology telemedicine at Johns Hopkins and worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company. In 2015, the White House recognized him as a “Champion for Change” for Parkinson’s disease.

Please tell me a little about your background.


Neurologist and Parkinson’s specialist, and an author of Ending Parkinson’s Disease


Can you tell me more about your advocacy?


I read a great book on How to Survive a Plague.  It detailed on largely gay men in New York City, who were ostracized, banned together, adopted a motto of “Silence=Death,” and changed the course of HIV.  ~Eight years later, thanks to their efforts, we had new drugs (protease inhibitors) that have allowed individuals with HIV to have near normal life expectancy.  Even better HIV is readily preventable (e.g., condoms), and rates of HIV are decreasing not rising.  In our lifetime, HIV could disappear as a major clinical entity.  We can do the same for Parkinson’s.


What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?


Preventing Parkinson’s disease.  For most, Parkinson’s is preventable.  Parkinson’s is preventable.  Parkinson’s is preventable.  We are trying to cure a disease that is largely preventable.


What effect can your advocacy have on an individual with Parkinson’s?


Give them hope and a voice.


What would you like to see as a future goal for your advocacy?


  1. Ban paraquat in the U.S. and beyond.
  2. Ban the dry cleaning chemicals trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene, which are associated with a ~500% increased risk of Parkinson’s disease
  3. Notify individuals who live near sites contaminated with these chemicals so they can protect themselves and their families.
  4. Reduce air pollution.
  5. Increase funding for Parkinson’s research, especially that aimed at preventing the disease so future generations are spared this disabling and deadly disease.
  6. Develop better treatments for the condition.


What events do you participate in?


Countless.  If you have an audience that wants to hear from us, let us know (  You Tube also has several videos readily and freely available for watching on our efforts.


How does your advocacy also assist the caregivers?


Those who are most directly affected by PD are the best advocates for preventing and ending PD.  That includes caregivers.  The burden of the disease is shared by many.  Most of it is preventable and unnecessary.  Let’s end it.


How can someone get in touch?  What is your website? – can sign up for our free newsletter there as well. – if you cannot afford a copy of Ending Parkinson’s Disease and would like one, just email us your preferred mailing address, and we will send you one.  If you can afford a copy, you can get one on Amazon (and other booksellers) and help increase awareness and interest in PD (all the authors are devoting their proceeds to preventing and ending PD)


In your opinion, what is the key to effective advocacy? 


Making your voices loud and heard.


If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?


We live in a world largely free of polio, where HIV is preventable and treatable, and where drinking and driving is socially unacceptable.  These are gifts from previous generations.  We have an obligation to receive gifts and to reciprocate.  Let’s give a world where Parkinson’s is increasingly rare.


More on Dr. Dorsey….




MD | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

MBA | University of Pennsylvania

Post-doctoral Training & Residency


07/01/2002 – 06/30/2005
Residency in Neurology at UPMC Credentials Verification Office

07/01/2001 – 06/30/2002
Internship in Internal Medicine at Northshore University Health System-Evanston Hospital



White House “Champion of Change” for Parkinson’s Disease




Journal Articles


Caron NS, Dorsey ER, Hayden MR. “Therapeutic approaches to Huntington disease: from the bench to the clinic.” Nature reviews. Drug discovery.. 2018 Oct; 17(10):729-750. Epub 2018 Sep 21.

Elson MJ, Stevenson EA, Feldman BA, Lim J, Beck CA, Beran DB, Schmidt PN, Biglan KM, Simone R, Willis AW, Dorsey ER, Boyd CM. “Telemedicine for Parkinson’s Disease: Limited Engagement Between Local Clinicians and Remote Specialists.” Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association.. 2018 Sep; 24(9):722-724. Epub 2018 Jan 03.


Zhan A, Mohan S, Tarolli C, Schneider RB, Adams JL, Sharma S, Elson MJ, Spear KL, Glidden AM, Little MA, Terzis A, Dorsey ER, Saria S. “Using Smartphones and Machine Learning to Quantify Parkinson Disease Severity: The Mobile Parkinson Disease Score.” JAMA neurology.. 2018 Jul 1; 75(7):876-880.

Books & Chapters


Book Title: Ending Parkinson’s Disease – A Prescription for Action
Author List: Dorsey R, Sherer T, Okun MS, Bloem BR
Published By: Public Affairs 2020




Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s (2020). Dr. Ray Dorsey – Parkinson’s Innovations in Telemedicine. Retrieved from


Ending Parkinson’s disease (2020). The Book. Retrieved from


University of Rochester: Medical Center (2023). Earl Ray Dorsey, M.D. Retrieved from