Treating Parkinson's Disease with Antibodies: Previous Studies and Future Directions

J Parkinsons Dis. 2021;11(1):71-92. doi: 10.3233/JPD-202221.


Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder mainly characterized by the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Degenerating neurons contain abnormal aggregates called Lewy bodies, that are predominantly composed of the misfolded and/or mutated alpha-synuclein protein. Post-translational modifications, cellular stress, inflammation and gene mutations are thought to trigger its pathological misfolding and aggregation. With alpha-synuclein pathology being strongly associated with dopaminergic neuronal toxicity, strategies aimed to reduce its burden are expected to be beneficial in slowing disease progression. Moreover, multiple sources of evidence suggest a cell-to-cell transmission of pathological alpha-synuclein in a prion-like manner. Therefore, antibodies targeting extra- or intracellular alpha-synuclein could be efficient in limiting the aggregation and transmission. Several active and passive immunization strategies have been explored to target alpha-synuclein. Here, we summarize immunotherapeutic approaches that were tested in pre-clinical or clinical studies in the last two decades in an attempt to treat Parkinson's disease.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; alpha-synuclein; antibodies; immunotherapy; intrabodies.; nanobodies; prion-like.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive*
  • Parkinson Disease* / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease* / therapy
  • Single-Domain Antibodies / therapeutic use*
  • Vaccination*
  • alpha-Synuclein* / immunology
  • alpha-Synuclein* / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Single-Domain Antibodies
  • alpha-Synuclein