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50 Years Ago

Links between scrapie and MS less likely

Excerpt from the December 25, 1965 issue of Science News Letter

8:00am, December 17, 2015
Sheep with scrapie

PERNICIOUS PROTEINS  This 1960 image of American sheep shows the animals rubbing against a fence rail — an early symptom of scrapie and how the disease got its name. Scientists now know that scrapie is caused by misfolding proteins in the brain called prions, the same mechanism that causes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. 

Science forecast for 1966 — Reports could be forthcoming on the possible role of slow-acting viruses on chronic degenerative neurological diseases in man, such as multiple sclerosis. Both multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy could be found closely related to a virus-caused disease “scrapie” in sheep. — Science News Letter, December 25, 1965


Scientists now believe that the brain-wasting disease scrapie is caused by prions, warped proteins that trick normal proteins into

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