Workshop at the Michael J Fox Foundation
Last week Caroline Williams-Gray and Kirsten Scott attended a meeting and workshop at the Michael J Fox Foundation (MJFF) in New York to discuss their work on the role of inflammation in Parkinson’s disease.
The meeting provided an opportunity for international experts in the field to get together to discuss this exciting area of research and think about strategies for future work in this area.
Kirsten has been working on a project funded by the MJFF which has involved testing for antibodies against alpha synuclein in the blood in patients with Parkinson’s disease, as well as in individuals with REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder, who are at increased risk of developing Parkinson’s. Such antibodies might be a useful biomarker to identify individuals in whom there is an elevated immune response early on in the disease – which might have important implications for treatment.
Caroline is leading a project investigating how age-related changes in the immune system impact on Parkinson’s disease. Her work to date has suggested that markers of ageing on T lymphocytes are altered in individuals with Parkinson’s disease compared to healthy controls.
With funding from MJFF, she is now expanding on this work in a new study which will investigate a range of markers of T cell ageing and look at whether these are linked to inflammation in the brain, and progression of the disease.