In 2017, it is two hundred years since James Parkinson provided the first complete clinical description of the disease named after him, fifty years since the introduction of high-dose D,L-DOPA treatment and twenty years since α-synuclein aggregation came to the fore. In 1998, multiple system atrophy joined Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies as the third major synucleinopathy. Here we review our work, which led to the identification of α-synuclein in Lewy bodies, Lewy neurites and Papp-Lantos bodies, as well as what has happened since. Some of the experiments described were carried out in collaboration with ML Schmidt, JQ Trojanowski and VMY Lee.
Keywords: Alpha-synuclein; Parkinson’s disease; aggregate propagation; dementia with Lewy bodies; multiple system atrophy; neurodegeneration; protein aggregation.