PRI was the research arm of the Wisconsin Parkinson Association. While it was founded in 2002 and for a time had been a research division of Aurora Sinai Medical Center, in February 2013, the Wisconsin Parkinson Association and the Parkinson Research Institute merged to create an independent, private Parkinson disease outreach and education association with a research component.

Among PRI's research inventory were its brain bank tissue repository and LifeSpan database; the research arm also collaborated with the Regional Parkinson Center (now closed) and other entities, working to uncover the causes of Parkinson's and seek improved treatments.

In fall of 2014, PRI was closed.