Team tackles therapeutic Parkinson's vax

Investigators engaged in preclinical studies have already seen how blocking a particular protein can reduce the level of nerve damage associated with Parkinson's disease. Now researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston want to see if that same approach can be followed to develop a therapeutic vaccine for the debilitating ailment.

"We're creating a vaccine to target a protein (alpha synuclein) that accumulates in the brains of people with Parkinson's disease," said Rowen Chang, the lead researcher on the project. "If we can slow the protein buildup, I believe we will also slow the deterioration of nerve cells tied to body movement."

Chang's team is currently working to identify the best immunogen for the vaccine, which is being tested in mice. Their work is supported by the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, which has devoted millions of dollars to cutting-edge research in the field. Other investigators at UTHealth are engaged in developing new and better diagnostics for Parkison's.

- check out the full article from UT

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