Introduction: Parkinson's disease (PD) is an insidious disorder affecting more than 1-2% of the population over the age of 65. Understanding the etiology of PD may create opportunities for developing new treatments. Genomic and transcriptomic studies are useful, but do not provide evidence for the actual status of the disease. Conversely, proteomic studies deal with proteins, which are real time players, and can hence provide information on the dynamic nature of the affected cells. The number of publications relating to the proteomics of PD is vast. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate the current proteomics literature and establish the connections between the past and the present to foresee the future.Areas covered: PubMed and Web of Science were used to retrieve the literature associated with PD proteomics. Studies using human samples, model organisms and cell lines were selected and reviewed to highlight their contributions to PD.Expert commentary: The proteomic studies associated with PD achieved only limited success in facilitating disease diagnosis, monitoring and progression. A global system biology approach using new models is needed. Future research should integrate the findings of proteomics with other omics data to facilitate both early diagnosis and the treatment of PD.