Prion Disease Detected Soon After Infection and in Surprising Place in Mouse Brains

Prion diseases—incurable, ultimately fatal, transmissible neurodegenerative disorders of mammals—are believed to develop undetected in the brain over several years from infectious prion protein. In a new study, National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists report they can detect infectious prion protein in mouse brains within a week of inoculation. Equally surprising, the protein was generated outside blood vessels in a place in the brain where scientists believe drug treatment could be targeted to prevent disease. The study, from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), appears in the Sept. 22 issue of mBio.

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This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022