Misfolded proteins implicated in more brain diseases | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


News

Misfolded proteins implicated in more brain diseases

Alzheimer’s, other disorders show similarity to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other prion infections

By
1:01pm, September 9, 2015
Amyloid-beta in the brain

BUILDUP  Amyloid-beta (brown) accumulated in the front of the brain in a person who received injections of cadaver-derived growth hormone as a child, suggesting that the injections were contaminated with A-beta. 

In some brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, distorted proteins behave like infectious agents, spreading among brain cells and corrupting other proteins. New studies suggest that such diseases should be classified among disorders caused by the infectious particles known as prions.

Classic prion infections, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, are fatal. Some scientists hope that recasting Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders as prion diseases may help reveal ways to halt or prevent neural destruction. Yet others caution that this radical reclassification may unnecessarily evoke fear.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content