Asparagine endopeptidase (AEP), an enzyme already identified as a contributor to the tangling of tau proteins and increasing neurotoxicity in Alzheimer's cases, is now also believed to activate cleaving of alpha-synuclein in humans which leads to the formation of Lewy bodies, also increasing neurotoxicity in patients with Parkinson disease. Researchers plan to explore the possibilities of an AEP-inhibitor treatment for future Parkinson's therapies.

References: Sandoiu A. New drug target for Parkinson’s disease found. MedicalNewsToday website. Published July 04, 2017. Accessed July 15, 2017. Zhang Z, Kang SS, Liu X, et al. Asparagine endopeptidase cleaves α-synuclein and mediates pathologic activities in Parkinson's disease. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2017; doi: 10.1038/nsmb.3433. [Epub ahead of print]