Alpha-Synuclein PRIORITY AREA
Why is Alpha-Synuclein a Priority?
The alpha-synuclein protein is a major component of Lewy bodies, clumps of aggregated protein that are a cardinal neuropathological feature of Parkinson's disease. Mutations in the alpha-synuclein gene were some of the first linked to Parkinson's disease and provide further evidence for its causal role in the disease. These strong pathological and genetic links make alpha-synuclein a key target for therapeutic development.
Our Investment in Alpha-Synuclein Research
The Michael J. Fox Foundation has made significant investments in research to understand alpha-synuclein and to translate it into therapeutic strategies for advancing a cure for Parkinson's disease. Our particular areas of focus to date include:
- Supporting work to understand the normal function of alpha-synuclein and its role in Parkinson's disease pathogenesis;
- Taking an aggressive approach in advancing alpha-synuclein therapeutics to the clinic and supporting strategies to reduce aggregation or lower protein levels of alpha-synuclein;
- Establishing a growing resource of alpha-synuclein research reagents and models for use by the research community;
- Developing and optimizing biomarker assays to measure alpha-synuclein protein levels in blood, CSF and tissue samples;
- Leading a collaborative effort to develop an alpha-synuclein neuroimaging agent, which could be a valuable biomarker for drug development, diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression.
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