Mechanism Behind Neuronal Death in Prion Diseases Identified

Neuron
Neuron
Researchers are now working to identify compounds for new drug targets.

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have for the first time discovered a killing mechanism that could underpin a range of the most intractable neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS.

The new study, published recently in the journal Brain, revealed the mechanism of toxicity of a misfolded form of the protein that underlies prion diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (“mad cow disease”) and its human equivalent, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

“Our study reveals a novel mechanism of neuronal death involved in a neurodegenerative protein-misfolding disease,” said Corinne Lasmézas, a TSRI professor who led the study.

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