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Prion diseases: new clues in the structure of prion proteins
A new study carried out by SISSA - Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati in collaboration with other institutions including Genos Glycoscience. Research Laboratory from Zagreb, Croatia and Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste, provides important information on the differences in structures of the prions, proteins responsible for diseases that at the state of the art are incurable. (2021-02-19)

UTHealth research could lead to blood test to detect Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
The detection of prions in the blood of patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease could lead to a noninvasive diagnosis prior to symptoms and a way to identify prion contamination of the donated blood supply, according to researchers at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). (2016-12-21)

Blood test for prion disease could make blood supply safer
A blood test accurately diagnosed a total of 32 patients with a rare form of prion disease, two new analyses report, offering a potentially valuable tool for preventing prion contamination of the blood supply. (2016-12-21)

Gut cells are gatekeepers of infectious brain diseases, study finds
Fresh insights into infectious brain conditions help to explain why some people -- and animals -- are more at risk than others. (2016-12-14)

Fruit fly model of deadly brain diseases could lead to blood test for vCJD
A new model of fatal brain diseases is being developed in the fruit fly by a team led by Dr. Raymond Bujdoso at the University of Cambridge, and could lead to a low cost, fast and efficient blood test to diagnose -- and prevent possible transmission of -- variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. (2016-10-12)

New assay offers improved detection of deadly prion diseases
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases, are a family of rare progressive, neurodegenerative illnesses that affect both humans and animals. TSE surveillance is important for public health and food safety because TSEs have the potential of crossing from animals to humans, as seen with the spread of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). A study in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describes an advanced assay that offers better sensitivity than currently available tests for detecting a prion disease affecting elk. (2016-04-08)

Sequestered prion protein takes the good mood away, suggests new hypothesis on depression
The discovery of antidepressant drugs led to the first biochemical hypothesis of depression, known as the monoamine hypothesis. However, this hypothesis does not seem to fully explain the complexity of human depression. Now a new study offers one more important key that may increase our understanding of the pathogenesis behind clinical depression and neurodegenerative disorders. (2015-08-13)

Brain infection study reveals how disease spreads from gut
Diagnosis of deadly brain conditions could be helped by new research that shows how infectious proteins that cause the disease spread. The University of Edinburgh study reveals how the proteins -- called prions -- spread from the gut to the brain after a person or animal has eaten contaminated meat. (2015-08-04)

New test detects toxic prions in blood
The first cases of mad cow disease in humans occurred in the late 1990s and are thought to be the consequence of eating contaminated beef products. Several cases of secondary infections caused by transfusions with blood from donors who developed vCJD have been reported, raising concerns about the safety of blood products. A paper published in PLOS Pathogens now describes an assay that can detect prions in blood samples from humans with vCJD and in animals at early stages of the incubation phase. (2014-06-12)

What bank voles can teach us about prion disease transmission and neurodegeneration
Transmission of prions between species is inefficient, and only a small proportion of exposed recipients become sick within their lifetimes. A study published on April 3 in PLOS Pathogens takes a close look at one exception to this rule: bank voles appear to lack a species barrier for prion transmission, and their universal susceptibility turns out to be both informative and useful for the development of strategies to prevent prion transmission. (2014-04-03)

Study examines blood test to screen for fatal variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
A blood test accurately screened for infection with the agent responsible for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a fatal neurological disease. (2014-03-03)

Researchers estimate 1 in 2,000 people in the UK carry variant CJD proteins
Around one in 2,000 people in the UK may carry variant CJD proteins, concludes a large scale survey published on bmj.com today. (2013-10-15)

'Good' prion-like proteins boost immune response, UT Southwestern scientists report
A person's ability to battle viruses at the cellular level remarkably resembles the way deadly infectious agents called prions misfold and cluster native proteins to cause disease, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report. (2011-08-08)

CDC assesses potential human exposure to prion diseases
Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have examined the potential for human exposure to prion diseases, looking at hunting, venison consumption, and travel to areas in which prion diseases have been reported in animals. Three prion diseases in particular -- bovine spongiform encephalopathy, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and chronic wasting disease -- were specified in the investigation. The results of this investigation are published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. (2011-05-23)

Coroners wrong to say no to post-mortem tissue collection, academics argue
The creation of a post-mortem tissue archive for a study of the human form of mad cow disease failed because of a (2011-05-09)

NIH study describes fast, sensitive blood test for human prion disease
Scientists from NIAID report that they have developed a method -- 10,000 times more sensitive than other methods -- to detect variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (vCJD) in blood plasma. vCJD is a type of prion disease in humans that leads to brain damage and death. The NIAID researchers also used the test to rapidly detect scrapie, a prion disease of sheep, in infected hamsters, some pre-symptomatic. (2011-05-09)

Researchers create prototype test to screen for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from donor blood
In an article published online first and an upcoming Lancet, researchers announce the creation of a new assay test that can detect minute amounts of the tiny CJD-causing particles, known as prions, in human blood. (2011-02-02)

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Articles in the journals of the American Society for Microbiology include (2011-01-19)

An unusual case of variant CJD
The particular genetic make-up of a 30-year old man who has died of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease means there could be other people with the condition who at the moment have no symptoms. The issues are discussed in a case report published in this week's edition of the Lancet, written by Professor John Collinge, MRC Prion Unit and National Prion Clinic, UCL Institute of Neurology and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, and colleagues. (2009-12-17)

Prevalence of variant CJD agent in Britain remains uncertain
First results from a large tissue survey in Britain of the agent that causes variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) are unable so far to establish that the prevalence is lower than that given by previous estimates, concludes a study published on bmj.com today. (2009-05-21)

Antibody key to treating variant CJD, scientists find
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have determined the atomic structure of the (2009-03-04)

Genome-wide association study to assess the risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Although measures were taken to prevent further transmission to humans after the outbreak of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from infected cattle in the mid-1990s, the full extent of this outbreak and that of other prion diseases might not yet be realized. Prion diseases are controlled by genetic factors, and normal variations in DNA might influence susceptibility to prion diseases and affect the length of their silent incubation period. (2008-12-07)

Changes in urine could lead to BSE test for live animals
Researchers have demonstrated that protein levels in urine samples can indicate both the presence and progress of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy disease in cattle. Publishing their findings in BioMed Central's open access journal Proteome Science, the scientists hope that their discovery might lead to the development of a urine-based test that could prevent the precautionary slaughter of many animals as now occurs when the disease is detected. (2008-09-05)

Study confirms vCJD could be transmitted by blood transfusion
A nine-year study in sheep has added to the evidence that vCJD can be transmitted through blood transfusion in humans. The findings underline the importance of precautions against vCJD transmission, such as the Government decision in 2004 to ban blood donations from anyone who had received a blood transfusion since 1980. (2008-08-29)

Variant of mad cow disease may be transmitted by blood transfusions, according to animal study
Blood transfusions are a valuable treatment mechanism in modern medicine, but can come with the risk of donor disease transmission. Researchers are continually studying the biology of blood products to understand how certain diseases are transmitted in an effort to reduce this risk during blood transfusions. (2008-08-28)

Protecting a life-saving blood product from human form of mad cow disease
Amid concern that recipients of certain blood transfusions may risk infection with a deadly protein responsible for the human form of mad cow disease, researchers in Canada now report development of a special filter that quickly and effectively removes the protein from blood. They will describe the blood filter, which could reduce the risk of developing the disease from transfusions, in April at the American Chemical Society national meeting in New Orleans. (2008-04-08)

Study advances vCJD prion detection
Scientists have made significant advances towards the development of a technique that could be used to confirm whether someone is infected with variant CJD. (2007-07-05)

Alzheimer's prevention role discovered for prions
A role for prion proteins, the much debated agents of mad cow disease and vCJD, has been identified. It appears that the normal prions produced by the body help to prevent the plaques that build up in the brain to cause Alzheimer's disease. The possible function for the mysterious proteins was discovered by a team of scientists led by Medical Research Council funded scientist Professor Nigel Hooper of the University of Leeds. (2007-07-03)

Scientists develop method to remove prion infectivity from scrapie-infected blood
Scientists have developed a device that can remove disease-causing prions from scrapie-infected animal blood. They report their development in Article in this week's issue of the Lancet. (2006-12-21)

The UK's third case of vCJD associated with blood transfusion
Researchers report the details of the UK's third case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) associated with blood transfusion in an Article in this week's issue of the Lancet. The case highlights the risk faced by other recipients of vCJD infected blood and suggests that blood transfusion is an efficient route of transmission for vCJD. (2006-12-07)

Blood transfusion-transmitted infections: A global perspective
A commentary by Blajchman and Vamvakas written in relation to an article in the same issue of the journal concerning the transfusion-transmission of HHV-8, a virus that has the potential to cause skin tumors (Kaposi's sarcoma) in immunocompromised recipients. (2006-09-27)

Call for data on reuse of surgical instruments to allay fears over vCJD transmission
A study published today in the online edition of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface has been exploring the likelihood that vCJD might be spread via the reuse of surgical instruments, and calls for more data in order to allay fears over the possible transmission of vCJD. (2006-08-01)

Prion find points way to test for human 'mad cow' disease
In the July 7, 2006, issue of the journal Science, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) describe experiments that may soon lead to a test that will enable medical science to estimate how many people are infected with the human form of mad cow disease, which can take as long as 40 years before manifesting itself. (2006-07-06)

Incubation period for human BSE infection could exceed 50 years
A person could possibly be infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions for over 50 years before developing variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), according to a study on another human prion disease called kuru in this week's issue of The Lancet. The findings suggest that the eventual size of a vCJD epidemic could be much bigger than previously thought, state the authors. (2006-06-22)

Study suggests new human genotype may be prone to vCJD
A small study in this week's BMJ suggests a new human genotype may be prone to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). Although this new evidence may rekindle fears of a larger epidemic, others warn that it is important to be cautious in interpreting these results. (2006-05-18)

New evidence questions the simple link between prion proteins and vCJD
While newly published research confirms that under laboratory circumstances prion-protein can be absorbed across the gut, it also shows that this is unlikely to occur in real life. In addition, the results show that the places in the gut that do take up these disease-associated proteins are different from the locations where infectivity is known to be amplified. The findings will be published in the Journal of Pathology. (2006-03-30)

Study indicates human susceptibility for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease transmission
According to an article published online today (Monday March 27, 2006) by The Lancet Neurology, all individuals could be susceptible to transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) through routes such as blood transfusion, and, because of long incubation times before onset of symptoms, a significant level of infection might already be present in the population. (2006-03-26)

Who's vCJD case definition should be revised
The World Health Organization's (WHO) definition of patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) should be revised to prevent cases being missed, according to the authors of a case report in this week's issue of The Lancet. (2006-03-09)

Pall blood filtration technology removes prions that can cause TSEs
A newly published study in the December issue of Transfusion shows a Pall Corporation (NYSE: PLL) filtration technology is effective in removing prions from blood. Prions are the agent believed to cause a variety of fatal neurodegenerative diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), including variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), the human form of (2005-12-20)

Pall tells FDA panel about blood filtering technology
Pall Corporation today presented the latest research results on its prion technology to remove TSE infectivity from blood. The Pall LeukotrapR Affinity Prion Reduction Filter system removes prions from red blood cells. Samuel Coker, PhD, Principal Scientist and Technical Director of Pall Medical gave the Committee a first-hand look at the validation studies on the performance characteristics of the prion reduction technology filter that were used to earn its CE mark in Europe. (2005-10-31)

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