Corrupted Proteins Spread Disease | The Scientist

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“Many neurological diseases are caused by misfolded proteins that gather in large, destructive clumps, causing neuronal degeneration. Some of these proteins can also convert normal versions into their own twisted images, thus spreading the disease throughout the brain. The classic examples are prion diseases like mad cow disease and Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (CJD). They are caused by misshapen forms of the PrP protein, which corrupts the shapes of normal PrP.

Now, new research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that Alzheimer’s disease might work in a similar way. Its hallmarks include tangled clumps of amyloid-beta, a peptide (protein fragment) that aggregates in large plaques, which according to the new study, can seed more protein clusters, creating a wave of plaques that spreads through the brain.”


Interesting!  As a non-specialist, I have long been struck by the apparent similarities between prion diseases and Alzheimer’s – and now it has been shown that they really are similar in causation.

I just wonder how much of my brain is affected….

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One Response to “Corrupted Proteins Spread Disease | The Scientist”

  1. Linda Pifer, Ph.D. Says:

    Interesting thoughts. Wouldn’t it be horrific if Alzheimer’s turns out to be a disease that can be transmitted like chronic wasting disease of deer, etc. If it is, it could theoretically be transmitted by close contact. If epidemiological studies have not been done on this, they should be.

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