Cerebral amyloid angiopathy may be caused by prions

A study published in Annals of Neurology, by Dr Gargi Banerjee and Professor David Werring, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, adds to evidence that prion diseases are more widespread and varied than had been realised.

Such diseases are caused by misfolded protein molecules that have the unfortunate property of triggering similar misfolding in others of their kind, and so transmitting their pathological character to previously healthy molecules.  Dr Banerjee’s and Dr Werring’s study results suggest cerebral amyloid angiopathy (caa), a haemorrhage-causing illness closely related to Alzheimer’s, may be an example.

Three people who were diagnosed with cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), a brain disease related to Alzheimer’s disease, likely developed the disease due to the transmission of amyloid pathology during neurosurgery decades earlier, according to the study.  All three people had received cadaveric dura mater grafts – transplants of the tissue that covers the brain – when they were young, before developing CAA three to four decades later. The procedure was discontinued in the UK in 1992.

 

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Source: University Collega London | 18 February 2019

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