Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative condition that affects nerve cells in the brain controling movement. Parkinson’s is progressive. Symptoms appear gradually but get worse slowly. The name of the disease comes from Dr Parkinson, the scientist who first reported the symptoms and published "An Essay on the Shaking Palsy" in 1817.
The most common symptoms are motor symptoms : tremor, muscle rigidity and slowness of movement. Many people with Parkinson’s have also also non-motor symptoms, such as pain, anxiety or depression.
The incidence of Parkinson's disease rises dramatically with age. Due to the fact that people live longer, the frequence of Parkinson's will significantly rise in the future.
World Parkinson's Day
World Parkinson’s Day has been set on 11 April, wich is the birthday of James Parkinson. This event is the opportunity for the international Parkinson’s community to raise awareness about the condition, a signal to better advance research toward therapies and cure of Parkinson’s.
Can immunotherapy offer hope for Parkinson’s sufferers?
Multiple biotech companies are developing a range of immunotherapies to slow down or even completely halt the progression of Parkinson’s.
Researchers thnik that the origin of the disease may be a toxic form of a protein called alpha-synuclein, which accumulates in the brain over time due to mutations in the gene that encodes the protein. Scientists have been designing antibodies that specifically target and bind to the toxic form of alpha-synuclein and remove it from the body.
At the moment, there are two main approaches to immunotherapy for Parkinson’s: passive and active. Most of these immunotherapies are currently in early-stage clinical trials, which are expected to indicate which approach may prove most effective.
Find more information about Parkinson's disease :
#UniteForParkinsons : uniteforparkinsons.org
The Michael J. Fox Foundation : michaeljfox.org
The European Parkinson’s Disease Association (EPDA) : epda.eu.com
Picture credit : EPDA