Better balanced immune system could prevent Parkinson’s

News

Author: Parkinson's Life editorsPublished: 16 August 2017

Parkinson's LifePrep: Parkinson's LifeCook: Parkinson's LifeServes:

T cell

A study, published in the journal ‘Nature’, has suggested that it may be possible to prevent Parkinson’s disease by balancing the immune system.

The research, which studied 103 participants, found that Parkinson’s could be an autoimmune disease – a condition which leads the body’s immune system to attack healthy cells.

David Sulzer, a professor at the Columbia University Medical Center, New York, US, who led the study, said: “The idea that a malfunctioning immune system contributes to Parkinson’s dates back almost 100 years. But until now, no one has been able to connect the dots. Our findings show that two fragments of alpha-synuclein, a protein that accumulates in the brain cells of people with Parkinson’s, can activate the T cells involved in autoimmune attacks”.

The team believe that neurons in those with Parkinson’s are not able to get rid of alpha-synuclein, leading to their proteins being mistaken for a virus and subsequently attacked.

Go Back

Share this story

Comments


Related articles


Indian Ocean Row 2018 team

Global update

Man with Parkinson’s sets sights on 3,600-mile world record

Robin Buttery will row the length of the Indian Ocean

READ MORE
Marc Woodward is the runner up in our Parkinson's poetry competition

Interviews

Meet our poetry competition runner-up

We catch up with the runner-up in our Parkinson's poetry competition

READ MORE
Parkinson's researcher Dayne Beccano-Kelly

Interviews

“Black individuals don’t get as much time with doctors, studies show”

We hear from Parkinson’s researcher Dayne Beccano-Kelly

READ MORE