Active Immunization Therapies for Parkinson's Disease and Multiple System Atrophy

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Vaccination is increasingly being investigated as a potential treatment for synucleinopathies, a group of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy, and dementia with Lewy bodies associated with α-synuclein pathology. All lack a causal therapy. Development of novel, disease-altering treatment strategies is urgently needed. Vaccination has positioned itself as a prime strategy for addressing these diseases because it is broadly applicable, requires infrequent administration, and maintains low production costs for treating a large population or as a preventive measure. Current evidence points to a causal role of misfolded α-synuclein in the development and progression of synucleinopathies. In the past decade, significant progress in active immunization against α-synuclein has been shown both in preclinical animal models and in early clinical development. In this review, we describe the state-of-the-art in active immunization approaches to synucleinopathies, with a focus on advances in Parkinson's disease (PD) and multiple-system atrophy (MSA). We first review preclinical animal models, highlighting their progress in translation to the clinical setting. We then discuss current clinical applications, stressing different approaches taken to address α-synuclein pathology. Finally, we address challenges, trends, and future perspectives of current vaccination programs. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

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