With the increasing prevalence of Parkinson's disease (PD), there is an immediate need to interdict disease signs and symptoms. In recent years this need was met through therapeutic approaches focused on regenerative stem cell replacement and alpha-synuclein clearance. However, neither have shown long-term clinical benefit. A novel therapeutic approach designed to affect disease is focused on transforming the brain's immune microenvironment. As disordered innate and adaptive immune functions are primary components of neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis, this has emerged as a clear opportunity for therapeutic development. Interventions that immunologically restore the brain's homeostatic environment can lead to neuroprotective outcomes. These have recently been demonstrated in both laboratory and early clinical investigations. To these ends, efforts to increase the numbers and function of regulatory T cells over dominant effector cells that exacerbate systemic inflammation and neurodegeneration have emerged as a primary research focus. These therapeutics show broad promise in affecting disease outcomes beyond PD, such as for Alzheimer's disease, stroke and traumatic brain injuries, which share common neurodegenerative disease processes.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Effector T cells; Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor; Immune homeostasis; Immune transformation; Ischemic stroke; Neurodegeneration; Neurodegenerative disorders; Neuroinflammation; Neuroprotection; Nigrostriatal degeneration; Parkinson’s disease; Regulatory T cells; Teffs; Traumatic brain injury; Tregs.
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