Immunotherapy using antibodies targeting alpha-synuclein has proven to be an effective strategy for ameliorating pathological and behavioral deficits induced by excess pathogenic alpha-synuclein in various animal and/or cellular models. However, the process of selecting the anti-alpha-synuclein antibody with the best potential to treat synucleinopathies in humans is not trivial. Critical to this process is a better understanding of the pathological processes involved in the synucleinopathies and how antibodies are able to influence these. We will give an overview of the first proof-of-concept studies in rodent disease models and discuss challenges associated with developing antibodies against alpha-synuclein resulting from the distribution and structural characteristics of the protein. We will also provide a status on the passive immunization approaches targeting alpha-synuclein that have entered, or are expected to enter, clinical evaluation.
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