Parkinson’s disease is partly an autoimmune disease

Researchers have found the first direct evidence that autoimmunity–in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues–plays a role in Parkinson’s disease, the neurodegenerative movement disorder.

The findings raise the possibility that the death of neurons in Parkinson’s could be prevented by therapies that dampen the immune response.

The study, led by scientists at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, was published today in Nature.

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