bloodsamples_banner

Results from the first clinical trial of a new vaccine for Parkinson’s suggest the treatment is safe and should go forward to be tested in larger, longer studies.

It is important to emphasise that trials of vaccines for Parkinson’s are still at an early stage.

Beckie Port, Research Communications Officer

This small trial was carried out in the US on 40 healthy volunteers by biotech company Prothena.

How does the vaccine work?

Vaccines work by helping our immune systems recognise and get rid of foreign invaders – such as bacteria or viruses.

In the brain cells that are lost in Parkinson’s there is a build-up of a protein called ‘alpha synuclein’. Clumps of this protein – called ‘Lewy bodies’ – appear in affected brain cells and then spread throughout the brain.

Vaccines for Parkinson’s work by prompting the body to recognise alpha-synuclein as a foreign invader, this should trigger an immune response to clear some of the protein.

Results from this early trial show that the PRX002 vaccine is safe and may be able to decrease the level of alpha-synuclein in the blood.

This is the second vaccine that has been made against alpha-synuclein, there have also been promising results from trials of another one being developed in Austria.

What are the next steps?

Beckie Port, our Research Communications Officer, comments:

Results from this early trial show that the PRX002 vaccine is safe and may be able to decrease the level of alpha-synuclein in the blood.

“These results look promising and highlight the exciting potential that vaccines could one day be able to stop or slow cell death, and combat the spread of Parkinson’s.

“It is important to emphasise that trials of vaccines for Parkinson’s are still at an early stage. Larger trials involving hundreds of people with Parkinson’s are needed to be sure they are really safe and beneficial for Parkinson’s.

“Prothena have already made a start on the next steps for the PRX002 vaccine and are continuing to recruit people for the next stage of this study in the US.”

Source:parkinsons.org.uk

Leave a Reply

*
*

Required fields are marked *