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EAN 2022 | Update on disease-modifying therapies in Parkinson’s disease

Angelo Antonini, MD, PhD, University of Padua, Padua, Italy, discusses current therapeutic strategies targeting defined molecular mechanisms that are under investigation in Parkinson’s disease. Several interventions are being studied that are rationally designed to target the underlying disease mechanisms and thus, may aid in the prevention of disease progression. One major approach is anti-α-synuclein antibody treatment, given the significance of this protein in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. It is thought that these antibodies will bind to extracellular forms of α-synuclein in the synaptic space, forming immune complexes which are cleared by the microglia, minimizing the inflammatory responses built in reaction to protein accumulation. Several small molecules are also being studied that could overcome the challenges created by the need for frequent intravenous administration of antibody-based therapy. Finally, Prof. Antonini discusses genetically-target approaches, which focus on pathways that are frequently mutated in Parkinson’s disease, such as glucocerebrosidase in the autophagy-lysosome pathway and LRRK2 signaling pathways. This interview took place at the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) 2022 Congress in Vienna, Austria.