Prion diseases are a rare class of brain disorders that are transmissible between animals of any species, including humans.
New research has identified a known neurodegenerative disease as being caused by prions. And it has again raised the possibility that these proteins are infectious.
Creutzfeld-Jacob disease occurs in about one to two in every million people each year, most often in late middle-age.
News that a Sydney man has contracted Creutzfeld-Jacob disease serves to highlight that we still don't know how to prevent a disease that most often goes unreported, and unremarked on.
Under the microscope: prion fibres.
We first identified Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease at the University of Edinburgh in 1996. This neurological disorder, which is caused by abnormal proteins called prions that infect the brain, was initially…