What is prion disease?

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Prion diseases are fatal diseases which are brain related and affect both humans as well as animals. Prion diseases are also called as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) includes;

  • Mad cow disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle
  • Creutzfeldt-jakob disease in humans
  • Scrapie in sheep
  • Chronic wasting disease in elk and deer

Much information about transmissible spongiform encephalopathies remains unknown. The prion diseases occur due to some protein molecules which mishappenly occur brain tissues. Scientists are unable to understand what the normal prion protein molecules do. Many prion protein molecules reside on brain cells. Abnormal prion protein molecules get attached with each other forming clumps and accumulated in tissues of brain. This causes brain damage that mostly occurs in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The cause is still unknown as why normal prion protein molecules become abnormal. Prion diseases in humans are most common.

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Filed Under: Prion Diseases

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