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Scientists characterize 'new' human prion disease30 Sep 2015
prion_grafik_freigestellt
Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is a disease characterized by degeneration of neurological tissues that is very similar to Parkinson’s disease (PD). Both diseases exhibit aggregation of alpha-synuclein in brain tissue.
A team of scientist has now shown that similar to the original prion diseases, brain tissue from MSA patients is sufficient to transmit the disease. The results of their work, published in 2 recent PNAS papers, shows that using both a mouse model and a tissue culture model the characteristic alpha synuclein deposits could be seen in samples inoculated with tissue from MSA patients. The group is describing this as the first new prion disease discovered in nearly 50 years. In contrast samples from PD patients did not exhibit this transmissible effect.

The results further distinquish MSA from PD and despite their similarities points to the need for correct identification and unique approaches for treatment of each disease.

Sources:

Evidence for α-synuclein prions causing multiple system atrophy in humans with parkinsonism

Transmission of multiple system atrophy prions to transgenic mice

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