Mad cow-type diseases lie in wait

Mad cow-type diseases lie in wait

Prion infections build quickly then pause before killing

By Tina Hesman Saey, 16:22 PM February 25, 2011

Infectious proteins that cause brain-wasting conditions like mad cow disease appear to build up in the brain long before initiating the cascade of deterioration that leads to dementia and death, a new study of mice finds.

The findings suggest that other factors besides the misshapen infectious proteins characteristic of prion diseases may control the lethality of the disease. If scientists can determine what those factors are, future treatments may be able to prevent the infectious protein ...

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