Inflammation and immune dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease

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(From left) Drs. Valerie Joers and Malú Gámez Tansey

In a new review in the journal Nature Reviews Immunology, University of Florida neuroscientists examine the roles of inflammation and immune dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease and detail the hypothesis that complex genetic and environmental interactions combine with an aging immune system to spur development and progression of the neurodegenerative disease.

“We discuss the evidence for this hypothesis and opportunities to harness the emerging immunological knowledge from patients with PD to create better preclinical models with the long-term goal of enabling earlier identification of at-risk individuals to prevent, delay and more effectively treat the disease,” the authors write.

Led by Malú Gámez Tansey, Ph.D., co-director of UF’s Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease and the Norman and Susan Fixel Professor of Neuroscience and Neurology, and Valerie Joers, Ph.D., research assistant professor of neuroscience, the article delves into genetic, pharmacological, immunological, neuroimaging and epidemiological studies that identify potential pathways for therapeutic intervention.

Read the review in Nature Reviews Immunology.