Penn Study Describes New Models for Testing Parkinson's Disease Immune-based Drugs
Understanding how disease spreads from neuron to neuron is key to finding treatments.
Using powerful, newly developed cell culture and mouse models of sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD), a team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has demonstrated that immunotherapy with specifically targeted antibodies may block the developement and spread of PD pathology in the brain. By intercepting the distorted and misfolded alpha-synuclein (a-syn) proteins that enter and propogate in neurons, creating aggregates, the researchers prevented the development of pathology and also reversed some of the effects of already-existing disease. The a-syn clumps, called Lewy bodies, eventually kill affected neurons, which leads to clinical PD.
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