There is a pressing need for biomarkers to diagnose Parkinson's disease (PD), assess disease severity, and prognosticate course. Various types of biologic specimens are potential candidates for identifying biomarkers--defined here as surrogate indicators of physiological or pathophysiological states--but blood has the advantage of being minimally invasive to obtain. There are, however, several challenges to identifying biomarkers in blood. Several candidate biomarkers identified in other diseases or in other types of biological fluids are being pursued as blood-based biomarkers in PD. In addition, unbiased discovery is underway using techniques including metabolomics, proteomics, and gene expression profiling. In this review, we summarize these techniques and discuss the challenges and successes of blood-based biomarker discovery in PD. Blood-based biomarkers that are discussed include α-synuclein, DJ-1, uric acid, epidermal growth factor, apolipoprotein-A1, and peripheral inflammatory markers.