INTRODUCTION Abnormal deposition of α-synuclein (ASN) is a hallmark and possible central mechanism of Parkinson's disease and other synucleinopathies. Their therapy is currently hampered by the lack of early, screening-compatible diagnostic methods and efficient treatments. Areas covered: Patent applications related to synucleinopathies obtained from Patentscope and Espacenet databases are described against the background of current knowledge regarding the regulatory mechanisms of ASN behavior including alternative splicing, post-translational modifications, molecular interactions, aggregation, degradation, and changes in localization. Expert opinion: As the central pathological feature and possibly one of root causes in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, deregulation of ASN is a potentially optimal diagnostic and therapeutic target. Changes in total ASN may have diagnostic value, especially if non-invasive /peripheral tissue tests can be developed. Targeting the whole ASN pool for therapeutic purposes may be problematic, however. ASN mutations, truncation, and post-translational modifications have great potential value; therapeutic approaches selective towards aggregated or aggregation-prone ASN forms may lead to more successful and safe treatments. Numerous ASN interactions with signaling pathways, protein degradation and stress mechanisms widen its potential therapeutic significance dramatically. However, significant improvement in the basic knowledge on ASN is necessary to fully exploit these opportunities.