Parkinson’s disease caused by a virus?

May 6, 2014

Dr. John Woulfe is lead author on a paper hypothesizing that Parkinson’s is actually an autoimmune disease. The authors propose that exposure to the Epstein-Barr virus, resulting in an aberrant immune response, is necessary for the development of Parkinson’s, but not the sole requirement. This theory allows for the idea that there is some form of genetic susceptibility that must also exist. The authors hope this paper stimulates the development of experiments that will test this idea.

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The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the university’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

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