Experimental antibody therapies for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s may cause harmful inflammation

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A team led by scientists at Scripps Research has made a discovery suggesting that experimental antibody therapies for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s have an unintended adverse effect—brain inflammation—that may have to be countered if these treatments are to work as intended.

Experimental antibody treatments for Parkinson’s target abnormal clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein, while experimental antibody treatments for Alzheimer’s target abnormal clumps of amyloid beta protein. Despite promising results in mice, these potential treatments so far have not seen much success in clinical trials.

“Our findings provide a possible explanation for why antibody treatments have not yet succeeded against neurodegenerative diseases,” says study co-senior author Stuart Lipton, MD, PhD, Step Family Foundation Endowed Chair in the Department of Molecular Medicine and founding co-director of the Neurodegeneration New Medicines Center at Scripps Research.

 

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