Scientists say that Parkinson's disease is an autoimmune disease partially.
Scientists from the Columbia University Medical Center have confirmed the hypothesis that in Parkinson's disease, the body's immune system attacks its own healthy tissues. So, probably, the drugs that suppress immunity might help people suffering from Parkinson's disease, Zee News reports.
Previously, it was believed that neurons are protected from autoimmune attacks. However, a new study has proven that two fragments of alpha-synuclein (a protein accumulating in the brain in Parkinson's disease) can tune T cells against dopamine neurons. But we still don’t know whether this is the cause of the disease or only aggravates its course.
The scientists added the fragments of alpha-synuclein and other proteins to the blood samples of 67 patients with Parkinson's disease and 36 healthy volunteers. The experts wanted to understand which of the alpha-synuclein fragments can induce an immune response. In healthy people, immune cells hardly responded to alpha-synuclein. But a strong T cell response to protein fragments was observed in people with Parkinson's disease.
As it turned out the immune response was associated with a variant of the immune system gene that is very common among people suffering from Parkinson's disease. According to the scientists, an autoimmune response occurs when neurons can no longer get rid of the improper coagulated alpha-synuclein.
Source: Zee News.