Monday, December 8, 2008

Genetic risk factors for variant Creutzfeldt—Jakob disease: a genome-wide association study


The Lancet Neurology, Volume 8, Issue 1, Pages 57 - 66, January 2009

doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(08)70265-5Cite or Link Using DOI

Editors' note: Although millions of people in the UK are thought to have been exposed to the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prion, fewer than 200 people have developed variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) so far. Polymorphisms at codon 129 of the gene encoding prion protein (PRNP) partially explain why some people have been affected whereas others have not, but other factors that might contribute to susceptibility or incubation time remain to be identified. Using genome-wide association technology, this study has confirmed the association with codon 129 of PRNP and has also identified novel candidate loci. The results could provide a basis for further investigation into whether vCJD is likely to develop in people who have been exposed to the BSE prion but are currently unaffected.

Genetic risk factors for variant Creutzfeldt—Jakob disease: a genome-wide association study

Simon Mead PhD a, Mark Poulter BSc a, James Uphill BSc a, John Beck BSc a, Jerome Whitfield MA a b, Thomas EF Webb MRCP a, Tracy Campbell BSc a, Gary Adamson BSc a, Pelagia Deriziotis MSc a, Sarah J Tabrizi PhD a, Holger Hummerich PhD a, Claudio Verzilli PhD d, Michael P Alpers FRS a c, John C Whittaker PhD d, John Collinge FRS a

Summary Background Human and animal prion diseases are under genetic control, but apart from PRNP (the gene that encodes the prion protein), we understand little about human susceptibility to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions, the causal agent of variant Creutzfeldt—Jakob disease (vCJD). Methods We did a genome-wide association study of the risk of vCJD and tested for replication of our findings in samples from many categories of human prion disease (929 samples) and control samples from the UK and Papua New Guinea (4254 samples), including controls in the UK who were genotyped by the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium. We also did follow-up analyses of the genetic control of the clinical phenotype of prion disease and analysed candidate gene expression in a mouse cellular model of prion infection. Findings The PRNP locus was strongly associated with risk across several markers and all categories of prion disease (best single SNP [single nucleotide polymorphism] association in vCJD p=2·5×10-17; best haplotypic association in vCJD p=1×10-24). Although the main contribution to disease risk was conferred by PRNP polymorphic codon 129, another nearby SNP conferred increased risk of vCJD. In addition to PRNP, one technically validated SNP association upstream of RARB (the gene that encodes retinoic acid receptor beta) had nominal genome-wide significance (p=1·9×10-7). A similar association was found in a small sample of patients with iatrogenic CJD (p=0·030) but not in patients with sporadic CJD (sCJD) or kuru. In cultured cells, retinoic acid regulates the expression of the prion protein. We found an association with acquired prion disease, including vCJD (p=5·6×10-5), kuru incubation time (p=0·017), and resistance to kuru (p=2·5×10-4), in a

region upstream of STMN2 (the gene that encodes SCG10). The risk genotype was not associated with sCJD but conferred an earlier age of onset. Furthermore, expression of Stmn2 was reduced 30-fold post-infection in a mouse cellular model of prion disease. Interpretation The polymorphic codon 129 of PRNP was the main genetic risk factor for vCJD; however, additional candidate loci have been identified, which justifies functional analyses of these biological pathways in prion disease. Funding The UK Medical Research Council.

sporadic TSE, spontaneous TSE, sporadic FFI, to genetic TSE,


Evaluation of the Human Transmission Risk of an Atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Prion Strain

Qingzhong Kong,1* Mengjie Zheng,1 Cristina Casalone,2 Liuting Qing,1 Shenghai Huang,1? Bikram Chakraborty,1 Ping Wang,1 Fusong Chen,1 Ignazio Cali,1 Cristiano Corona,2 Francesca Martucci,2 Barbara Iulini,2 Pierluigi Acutis,2 Lan Wang,1 Jingjing Liang,1 Meiling Wang,1 Xinyi Li,1 Salvatore Monaco,3 Gianluigi Zanusso,3 Wen-Quan Zou,1 Maria Caramelli,2 and Pierluigi Gambetti1* Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106,1 CEA, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale, 10154 Torino, Italy,2 Department of Neurological and Visual Sciences, University of Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy3 *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106. Phone for Pierluigi Gambetti: (216) 368-0586. Fax: (216) 368-2546. E-mail: mhtml:%7B33B38F65-8D2E-434D-8F9B-8BDCD77D3066%7Dmid://00000009/! . Phone for Qingzhong Kong: (216) 368-1756. Fax: (216) 368-2546. E-mail: mhtml:%7B33B38F65-8D2E-434D-8F9B-8BDCD77D3066%7Dmid://00000009/! ?Present address: Department of Patient Education and Health Information, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195. Received November 30, 2007; Accepted January 16, 2008.

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the prion disease in cattle, was widely believed to be caused by only one strain, BSE-C. BSE-C causes the fatal prion disease named new variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in humans. Two atypical BSE strains, bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy (BASE, also named BSE-L) and BSE-H, have been discovered in several countries since 2004; their transmissibility and phenotypes in humans are unknown. We investigated the infectivity and human phenotype of BASE strains by inoculating transgenic (Tg) mice expressing the human prion protein with brain homogenates from two BASE strain-infected cattle. Sixty percent of the inoculated Tg mice became infected after 20 to 22 months of incubation, a transmission rate higher than those reported for BSE-C. A quarter of BASE strain-infected Tg mice, but none of the Tg mice infected with prions causing a sporadic human prion disease, showed the presence of pathogenic prion protein isoforms in the spleen, indicating that the BASE prion is intrinsically lymphotropic. The pathological prion protein isoforms in BASE strain-infected humanized Tg mouse brains are different from those from the original cattle BASE or sporadic human prion disease. Minimal brain spongiosis and long incubation times are observed for the BASE strain-infected Tg mice. These results suggest that in humans, the BASE strain is a more virulent BSE strain and likely lymphotropic.

Thursday, December 04, 2008 2:37 PM

"we have found that H-BSE can infect humans."

personal communication with Professor Kong. ...TSS

November 25, 2008

Update On Feed Enforcement Activities To Limit The Spread Of BSE

"the biochemical signature of PrPres in the BASE-inoculated animal was found to have a higher proteinase K sensitivity of the octa-repeat region. We found the same biochemical signature in three of four human patients with sporadic CJD and an MM type 2 PrP genotype who lived in the same country as the infected bovine."

just another one of those sporadic CJD coincidences i suppose $$$

NOT to forget ;

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Review on the epidemiology and dynamics of BSE epidemics

Vet. Res. (2008) 39:15 DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2007053 c INRA, EDP Sciences, 2008 Review article


And last but not least, similarities of PrPres between Htype BSE and human prion diseases like CJD or GSS have been put forward [10], as well as between L-type BSE and CJD [17]. These findings raise questions about the origin and inter species transmission of these prion diseases that were discovered through the BSE active surveillance.


Cases of atypical BSE have only been found in countries having implemented large active surveillance programs. As of 1st September 2007, 36 cases (16 H, 20 L) have been described all over the world in cattle: Belgium (1 L) [23], Canada (1 H)15, Denmark (1 L)16, France (8 H, 6 L)17, Germany (1 H, 1 L) [13], Italy (3 L)18, Japan (1 L) [71], Netherlands (1 H, 2 L)19, Poland (1 H, 6 L)20, Sweden (1 H)21, United Kingdom (1 H)22, and USA (2 H)23. Another H-type case has been found in a 19 year old miniature zebu in a zoological park in Switzerland [56]. It is noteworthy that atypical cases have been found in countries that did not experience classical BSE so far, like Sweden, or in which only few cases of classical BSE have been found, like Canada or the USA.

And last but not least, similarities of PrPres between Htype BSE and human prion diseases like CJD or GSS have been put forward [10], as well as between L-type BSE and CJD [17]. These findings raise questions about the origin and inter species transmission of these prion diseases that were discovered through the BSE active surveillance.

full text 18 pages ;

please see full text ;

***Atypical forms of BSE have emerged which, although rare, appear to be more virulent than the classical BSE that causes vCJD.***

Progress Report from the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center

An Update from Stephen M. Sergay, MB, BCh & Pierluigi Gambetti, MD

April 3, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

MAD COW DISEASE terminology UK c-BSE (typical), atypical BSE H or L, and or Italian L-BASE

HUMAN and ANIMAL TSE Classifications i.e. mad cow disease and the UKBSEnvCJD only theory JUNE 2008


Tissue infectivity and strain typing of the many variants Manuscript of the human and animal TSEs are paramount in all variants of all TSE. There must be a proper classification that will differentiate between all these human TSE in order to do this. With the CDI and other more sensitive testing coming about, I only hope that my proposal will some day be taken seriously. ...


Friday, December 05, 2008

Detection of Prion Infectivity in Fat Tissues of Scrapie-Infected Mice

Monday, December 08, 2008 vCJD & dental treatment


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A novel PRNP-P105S mutation associated with atypical prion disease and a rare PrPSc conformation

NEUROLOGY 2008;71:1431-1438 © 2008 American Academy of Neurology

A novel PRNP-P105S mutation associated with atypical prion disease and a rare PrPSc conformation

E. Tunnell, MD, R. Wollman, MD, PhD, S. Mallik, BA, C. J. Cortes, BS, S. J. DeArmond, MD, PhD and J. A. Mastrianni, MD, PhD From the Departments of Neurology (E.T., S.M., C.J.C., J.A.M.) and Pathology, Division of Neuropathology (R.W.), The University of Chicago, IL; and the Department of Pathology, Division of Neuropathology (S.J.D.), UCSF, San Francisco, CA.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. James A. Mastrianni, Department of Neurology, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, 5841 So. Maryland Ave., Chicago, IL 60637

Objective: To define the clinicopathologic, genetic, and pathogenic prion protein (PrPSc) characteristics associated with a novel mutation of the prion protein gene (PRNP).

Methods: The coding segment of PRNP from the proband and family members was sequenced and the brain of the proband was histologically studied. The Western blot profile of the proteinase K (PK) resistant fraction of PrPSc, an approximation of its conformation, or "PrPSc-type," was determined.

Results: We detected a novel mutation at codon 105 of PRNP that results in a serine (S) substitution of proline (P) (P105S), in a young woman who developed progressive aphasia, behavioral changes, dementia, and parkinsonism, lasting 10 years to her death. Histopathologic findings included an intense focus of multicentric PrP-plaques within the hippocampus, punctate plaques scattered throughout the cerebellum, and intense spongiform degeneration focally within the putamen, suggesting a variant of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS). However, PrPSc-typing revealed two PK-resistant PrPSc fragments (21 and 26 kDa), a pattern not previously detected in GSS.

Conclusions: This mutation is the third sequence variation at codon 105 of PRNP. The unusual phenotype and PrPSc-type distinguishes this genetic prion disease from typical Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome and other codon 105 substitutions, suggesting that, in addition to the loss of proline at this position, the PrPSc conformation and phenotype is dependent on the specific amino acid substitution.

Abbreviations: fCJD = familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; FFI = familial fatal insomnia; FTD = frontotemporal dementia; GSS = Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome; PK = proteinase K.


Supported by the NIH (NIH R01 NS46037, NIH R01 NS051480); the Brain Research Foundation, Chicago, IL; The John Miko Foundation for Prion Research; and the Pioneer Fund.

Disclosure: The authors report no disclosures.

Received March 18, 2008. Accepted in final form July 16, 2008.

Brain Advance Access published September 1, 2008

Phenotypic heterogeneity and genetic modification of P102L inherited prion disease in an international series

HUMAN and ANIMAL TSE Classifications i.e. mad cow disease and the UKBSEnvCJD only theory JUNE 2008


Tissue infectivity and strain typing of the many variants of the human and animal TSEs are paramount in all variants of all TSE. There must be a proper classification that will differentiate between all these human TSE in order to do this. With the CDI and other more sensitive testing coming about, I only hope that my proposal will some day be taken seriously. ...



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Phenotypic heterogeneity and genetic modification of P102L inherited prion disease in an international series

Brain Advance Access published September 1, 2008

Phenotypic heterogeneity and genetic modification of P102L inherited prion disease in an international series

T. E. F.Webb,1,2 M. Poulter,1 J. Beck,1 J.Uphill,1 G. Adamson,1 T. Campbell,1 J. Linehan,1 C. Powell,1 S. Brandner,1,2 S. Pal,1,2 D. Siddique,1,2 J. D.Wadsworth,1 S. Joiner,1 K. Alner,2 C. Petersen,2 S. Hampson,2 C. Rhymes,2 C. Treacy,2 E. Storey,3 M. D.Geschwind,4 A. H. Nemeth,5 S.Wroe,1,2 J. Collinge1,2 and S. Mead1,2 1MRC Prion Unit and Department of Neurodegenerative Disease,UCL Institute of Neurology, 2National Prion Clinic and National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London,WC1N 3BG, 3Department of Medicine (Neuroscience), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, 4Department of Neurology,University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco, CA,USA and 5Department of Clinical Genetics, Churchill Hospital and Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital,Oxford,OX3 9DU, UK Correspondence to: Prof. John Collinge, Department of Neurodegenerative Disease and MRC Prion Unit, UCL Institute of Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, LondonWC1N 3BG, UK E-mail:

The largest kindred with inherited prion disease P102L, historically Gerstmann-Stra«ussler-Scheinker syndrome, originates from central England, with e¤migre¤ s now resident in various parts of the English-speaking world. We have collected data from 84 patients in the large UK kindred and numerous small unrelated pedigrees to investigate phenotypic heterogeneity and modifying factors.This collection represents by far the largest series of P102L patients so far reported.Microsatellite and genealogical analyses of eight separate European kindreds support multiple distinct mutational events at a cytosine-phosphate diester-guanidine dinucleotide mutation hot spot. All of the smaller P102L kindreds were linked to polymorphic human prion protein gene codon 129M andwere not connected by genealogy ormicrosatellite haplotype background to the large kindred or each other. While many present with classical Gerstmann-Stra«ussler-Scheinker syndrome, a slowly progressive cerebellar ataxia with later onset cognitive impairment, there is remarkable heterogeneity. A subset of patients present with prominent cognitive and psychiatric features and some have met diagnostic criteria for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. We show that polymorphic human prion protein gene codon 129 modifies age at onset: the earliest eight clinical onsets were all MM homozygotes and overall age at onset was 7 years earlier for MM compared with MV heterozygotes (P=0.02).Unexpectedly, apolipoprotein E4 carriers have a delayed age of onset by10 years (P=0.02).We found a preponderance of female patients comparedwithmales (54 females versus 30 males,P=0.01), which probably relates to ascertainment bias.However, thesemodifiers had no impact on a semi-quantitative pathological phenotype in 10 autopsied patients.These data allow an appreciation of the range of clinical phenotype, modern imaging andmolecular investigation and should inform genetic counselling of at-risk individuals, with the identification of two genetic modifiers.



The patients presented here constitute by far the largest study of the classical GSS-associated PRNP mutation, P102L. Modern investigation, molecular genetic techniques and advances in pathological examination have allowed us to revisit a historical British pedigree and other smaller kindreds. We find evidence of a mutation hot spot at codon 102, a subgroup presenting with rapid cognitive decline and the significant modification of phenotype by two single nucleotide polymorphisms. The microsatellite haplotyping presented here demonstrates the existence of multiple separate and worldwide P102L kindreds of UK origin, confirmed in most patients by established genealogical links that had not been identified previously. However, the identification of a further six UK P102L kindreds along with two others of European origin suggests that multiple mutational events have occurred in the recent past. This might be supported by the identification of at least one of these patients (6.VIII.1) in an individual without suggestive family history or of known P102L patients living nearby, suggesting that this might represent a novel mutation. Given the identification of IPD patients in otherwise typical sCJD presentations, as well as in patients without a family history of neurodegeneration, novel mutational events may occur more commonly than previously thought. The commonest point mutations associated with IPD occur at cytosine-phosphate diesterguanidine dinucleotide sites hypothesized to be mutation ‘hot spots’ in human DNA (Vollmert et al., 2006). These hot spots are related to the spontaneous demethylation of cytosine to thymidine. Cytosine-phosphate diester-guanidine dinucleotide sites are associated with E200K, D178N and P102L point mutations, which between them account for the bulk of IPD patients worldwide (Dagvadorj et al., 2002; Mead, 2006). An alternative possibility to multiple separate mutational events being responsible for these apparently unconnected P102L IPD kindreds is that these small pedigrees do share a common ancestor with the large pedigree but that this was long enough in the past for linkage to the disease haplotype to have broken down. We estimate a probability of recombination of the 3MB microsatellite haplotype as about 10% per generation (assuming a genetic:physical ratio of 3.7). The unexpected finding that significantly greater numbers of females were identified with P102L IPD and the consequently higher number of individuals having an affected mother rather than father as the parent from whom the mutation was inherited is puzzling. This discrepancy has been reported once previously in this family, albeit with smaller numbers of individuals and without available genetic techniques, allowing the linkage of kindreds not known to share ancestry (Baker et al., 1985). It has also been observed in the large 6-OPRI IPD kindred from the South-East of England (Mead et al., 2006). In the earlier study in P102L, the finding was explained by postulating that affected females had significantly more children than their unaffected siblings and that greater than half these were daughters. Such an explanation is intriguing, though hard to explain. Alternatively, because of possible illegitimacy, we suspected that genealogical research might more readily identify affected mothers than affected fathers. In order to consider the possibility of ascertainment bias, the gender of members of the kindred identified from parish records or census entries, but who have not been identified as having suffered from IPD P102L, were collected. An excess of males in these untraced individuals was indeed identified. When these were added to the presumed affected male and female individuals, an excess of females to males remained (82–68), although this was not significantly different from an expected proportion of 0.5. It seems likely that ascertainment bias is responsible for this gender difference, although the intriguing possibility of a biological explanation remains. While the majority of P102L IPD patients here present with progressive ataxia accompanied by mild or absent cognitive symptoms and signs, a subset present with a predominantly cognitive and or psychiatric onset, with mild or absent cerebellar signs initially. Psychiatric involvement has been severe enough to necessitate antipsychotic medication in four patients (VII.1, VII.8, VIII.4 and 3.VIII.1) and inpatient treatment in two (VII.1 and VII.8). The existence of these distinct phenotypes (cognitive and psychiatric versus cerebellar onset) is supported by the finding of early prominent frontal executive impairment on neuropsychology in these patients not seen in other patients so tested. Neuropsychological assessment is now routine at the National Prion Clinic but in the past this was more usually performed only when clinical evidence of cognitive impairment existed. In addition to these neuropsychological differences, there is a suggestion that the cognitive and Fig. 9 Photograph of original 1871 asylum entry relating to admission and care of III.3 from Fig. 2. His condition is described as hereditary and reference ismade to his relatives’ care in the same institution.He is reported as being ‘scarcely able to move one leg in ront of another’ and his countenance is described as ‘imbecile’. He appears to have had dementia as well as weakness: ‘Can only answer in monosyllables & then incoherently; is much paralysed’. He was treated with daily doses of brandy until he died. ‘Paralysis’ was listed as the cause on the death certificate. Page 12 of 15 Brain (2008) T. E. F.Webb et al. psychiatric presentations have an earlier age at onset and death. Neuropsychology also highlights, however, that most if not all patients have cognitive deficits when psychology is performed, even if the findings are subtle, although selection bias may limit this conclusion. No pathological correlates of these two syndrome types have been identified, although numbers compared are small. Kuru and growth hormone-associated prion disease are notable for their onset with cerebellar symptoms (Collinge, 2001), which prompts speculation that cerebellar onset in P102L might result from the onset of prion replication outside the central nervous system. The range of tissue available did not permit the thorough testing of this hypothesis. The high degree of clinical heterogeneity and the lack of characteristic findings on commonly available clinical neurological investigations make correct diagnosis of P102L IPD challenging. The finding of positive CSF 14-3-3 combined with the albeit unusual occurrence of periodic sharp wave complexes on EEG and an sCJD-like phenotype in some individuals raises the possibility of missed diagnosis. It also supports our clinical practice of advising PRNP analysis routinely in all those presenting with otherwise undiagnosed pre-senile dementing or ataxic illnesses. Peripheral sensory symptoms and muscle weakness appear almost universal during the course of P102L IPD. The demonstration of muscle denervation and axonal sensorimotor neuropathy suggest peripheral neurological pathology is responsible. Experimental mice over-expressing wild-type PrP have shown demyelinating peripheral nerve pathology (Westaway et al., 1994). However, evidence of peripheral neuropathy in P102L IPD was inconsistent and where present was axonal, a form that is not uncommon in the population from unrelated causes. No prion protein (scrapie isoform) positivity could be demonstrated on two muscle biopsies examined here and although an indirect pathological process could still be responsible, peripheral findings in P102L IPD may be incidental, while sensory symptoms could be centrally rather than peripherally driven. Presented for the first time here is the finding that P102L IPD patients with methionine homozygosity at codon 129 present significantly earlier than codon 129 heterozygotes. Earlier age at onset is well recognized in codon 129 homozygotes in other IPD mutations (Collinge et al., 1992; Poulter et al., 1992; Mead et al., 2006), although the association with IPD associated with point mutations rather than OPRIs is less clear (Dlouhy et al., 1992). The less strong effect in P102L with respect to 6-OPRI may explain why this observation has not been made before where smaller numbers of patients have been examined (Hainfellner et al., 1995; Barbanti et al., 1996). There are several possible mechanisms of action of codon 129 genotype on clinical phenotype. It has long been known that the interaction between prion protein, scrapie isoform (PrPSc) and prion protein, normal cellular isoform (PrPc) occurs most efficiently when the proteins have an identical primary structure (Palmer et al., 1991); therefore, prion replication may occur more rapidly and clinical onset earlier in 129MM individuals. As a further complexity, the primary structure of PrP determines the permissible conformations of PrPSc. The extent to which a pathogenic 102L-129M PrP conformer is permitted by wild-type PrPc with 129V or 129M may also be important [see Collinge, 2007 for a recent review (Collinge and Clarke, 2007)]. 102L-129M PrP may be able to adopt several different pathogenic conformations, which may be permissible to a greater or lesser extent by the wild-type protein (Parchi et al., 1998; Hill et al., 2006). The involvement of wild-type protein is known to be a variable phenomenon in P102L and a possible determinant of phenotype (Wadsworth et al., 2006). The identification of the P102L mutation on a methionine allele in all of the patients presented here with adequate haplotype data probably relates simply to the frequency of this allele in the background population. P102L patients existing on a codon 129 valine allele have been reported, apparently occurring in the context of a distinct phenotype with prominent psychiatric features and seizures, different from classical P102L codon 129 methionine patients (Young et al., 1997; Bianca et al., 2003). Such a phenotypic difference could relate to different prion strain propagation originating from the valine allele. Genotype–phenotype correlations presented here, corrected for codon 129, demonstrate an effect of APOE genotype on age at onset, with individuals carrying the E4 allele having a significantly later age at onset than those without. While this evidence appears in contrast to the strong association of E4 with risk of Alzheimer’s disease (Corder et al., 1993) and to published work on the possible impact of APOE polymorphisms in sCJD showing an overrepresentation of the E4 allele in sCJD patients (Amouyel et al., 1994; Van Everbroeck et al., 2001), such findings have not been replicated in all published studies (Nakagawa et al., 1995; Zerr et al., 1996) nor in our own observations (387 sCJD patients versus unaffected controls, unpublished data). Recent reports present a similar result in frontotemporalobar degeneration, with later disease onset in those with the APOE E4 genotype in the context of progranulin mutations (Gass et al., 2006; Beck et al., 2008). APOE may thus have contrasting effects in the context of different neurodegenerative disease types. Most of the P102L IPD patients shared common features on pathological analysis. Spongiform change, astrocytosis and PrP deposition, both as multicentric plaques and synaptic deposits, were seen in the majority. However, the degree of severity of spongiform change and plaque deposition were very variable. This did not seem to correlate with age at onset or duration of illness. Neither did predominantly cerebellar or cognitive clinical presentations seem to correlate with pathological findings. PRNP codon 129MM homozygotes and MV heterozygotes were equally represented in the pathology series but no significant differences were seen between these two groups. However, the small Inherited prion disease P102L Brain (2008) Page 13 of 15 numbers in each subgroup and the age of some of the samples examined (with tissue up to 30 years old) may prevent correlations from being made. A single highly atypical clinical patient showed no significant histological differences from the rest of the series, while an atypical pathological patient has limited clinical data, although what is known about this individual is not obviously different from the other patients examined. These results suggest no clear clinicopathological correlations, but sample size was necessarily small. Immunoblots of proteinase K-digested brain homogenate from P102L patients demonstrate a spectrum of involvement of protease-resistant wild-type PrP in P102L IPD (Wadsworth et al., 2006). Four of the seven P102L IPD patients examined in this study were negative for prion protein (scrapie isoform), which most probably relates to sampling issues and the differing density of PrP deposition in tissue samples both within and between patients. Our large study therefore does not expand the existing data and we were unable to test whether protease-resistant PrP diversity might contribute to clinical heterogeneity. This remains a plausible concept in IPD that requires a large series of fresh frozen brain tissue and molecular analysis of PrP type following partial protease digestion. The need for public health control measures, together with the evident diagnostic challenges that IPD heterogeneity causes, make a strong argument for including PRNP gene analysis in he list of investigations for suspected prion disease of any type and indeed of all undiagnosed familial dementia or cerebellar syndromes. Successful diagnosis allows clinicians to provide more accurate prognostic information to patients, to allow participation in the clinical trials and reduce the risk of iatrogenic transmission of disease. As a consequence of these geographically highly mobile ancestors, and the large number of untraced individuals in the nineteenth century who were clearly at risk of inheriting the P102L mutation, it remains likely that further patients and at-risk individuals exist who have yet to be identified. It is hoped that the data presented here will help to raise awareness of P102L IPD and its associated presentations.


please see also ;


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sporadic Fatal Insomnia with Unusual Biochemical and Neuropathological Findings


Sporadic Fatal Insomnia with Unusual Biochemical and Neuropathological Findings

Giaccone, G1; Mangieri, M1; Priano, L2; Limido, L1; Brioschi, A2; Albani, G2; Pradotto, L2; Fociani, P3; Orsi, L4; Mortara, P4; Tagliavini, F1; Mauro, A2 1Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Italy; 2IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Italy; 3Università di Milano, Ospedale Luigi Sacco, Italy; 4Università di Torino, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Italy

Sporadic fatal insomnia (SFI) is a rare subtype of human prion disease, whose clinical and neuropathological phenotype is very similar to familial fatal insomnia (FFI). SFI patients reported until now were all homozygous for methionine at codon 129 of PRNP with deposition of type 2 PrPres (Parchi classification) in the brain. Here we describe a 56-year-old woman who died after a 10-month illness characterized by progressive drowsiness, cognitive deterioration, autonomic impairment and myoclonus. Polysomnography demonstrated a pattern similar to that described in FFI cases with loss of circadian pattern of sleep-wake cycle. A remarkable finding was that 20 years before the onset of symptoms, the patient had undergone surgery for a colloid cyst of the third ventricle, and two ventricular shunts were placed, one correctly in the left ventricle, while the second ended in the right thalamus. The PRNP gene showed no mutation and methionine homozygosity at codon 129. The neuropathologic examination revealed neuronal loss, gliosis, and spongiosis that were mild in the cerebral cortex, while relevant in the caudate nucleus, putamen, thalamus, hypothalamus and inferior olives. In the thalamus, the mediodorsal nuclei were more severely affected than the ventral ones. PrPres immunoreactivity was consistent in the striatum, thalamus and hypothalamus, patchy and of low intensity in the cerebral cortex and absent in the cerebellum. Western blot analysis confirmed this topographic distribution of PrPres. The bands corresponding to di- glycosylated, monoglycosylated and non-glycosylated PrPres were equally represented. The nonglycosylated PrPres band had an electrophoretic mobility identical to that of type 1 by Parchi classification, in the multiple cortical and subcortical regions examined. These findings demonstrate the existence of further rare molecular subtypes of human prion diseases, whose characterization may provide clues for the elucidation of the relation between biochemical characteristics of PrPres and clinico-pathological features of these disorders.


IT could also be that this sFFI is just another case of iCJD (via friendly fire from the surgery for a colloid cyst of the third ventricle, and two ventricular shunts were placed, one correctly in the left ventricle, while the second ended in the right thalamus), some 20 years before the onset of symptoms of this so called sFFI case, from some sub-type of sporadic CJD, now called sporadic FFI ???

I believe it was Gambetti et al that coined this term sporadic FFI, from some conspicuous sub-type of sporadic CJD possibly? seems they could not tie it to a true FFI by diagnostic standards to date, so it was then termed a sFFI, confusing matters even worse ;

A subtype of sporadic prion disease mimicking fatal familial insomnia

THIS seems to raise more questions than answers, confusing the TSEs even worse.

WHAT is sporadic CJD, and how many sub-types and atypical strains, phenotypes etc. will there be, arising from nothing. a spontaneous happening of sorts??? i think not. ...tss

Manuscript Draft Manuscript Number: Title:
HUMAN and ANIMAL TSE Classifications i.e. mad cow disease and the UKBSEnvCJD only theory
Article Type: Personal View Corresponding Author: Mr. Terry S. Singeltary, Corresponding Author's Institution: na First Author: Terry S Singeltary, none Order of Authors: Terry S Singeltary, none; Terry S. Singeltary Abstract: TSEs have been rampant in the USA for decades in many species, and they all have been rendered and fed back to animals for human/animal consumption. I propose that the current diagnostic criteria for human TSEs only enhances and helps the spreading of human TSE from the continued belief of the UKBSEnvCJD only theory in 2007.

first submitted ;

Comments sent via JAMA Feedback Page


NAME: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.




I wish to submit the following ;

HUMAN and ANIMAL TSE Classifications i.e. mad cowdisease and the UKBSEnvCJD only theory

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Atypical BSE (BASE) Transmitted from Asymptomatic Aging Cattle to a Primate

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A New Prionopathy OR more of the same old BSe and sporadic CJD

Friday, August 22, 2008
Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease and Veterans and how they are treated at death

August 19, 2008, Publish Ahead of Print:

First Report of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Occurring in 2 Siblings Unexplained by PRNP Mutation.

Original Article

Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology. POST EDITOR CORRECTIONS, 19 August 2008 Webb, Thomas E.F. MRCP; Pal, Suvankar MRCP; Siddique, Durrenajaf MRCP; Heaney, Dominic C. MRCP; Linehan, Jacqueline M. BSc; Wadsworth, Jonathan D.F. PhD; Joiner, Susan BSc; Beck, Jon BSc; Wroe, Stephen J. FRCP; Stevenson, Valerie MRCP; Brandner, Sebastian MRCPath; Mead, Simon PhD; Collinge, John FRS Abstract: Sibling concurrence of pathologically confirmed prion disease has only been reported in association with pathogenic mutation of the prion protein gene (PRNP). Here, we report 2 siblings with classic neuropathologic features of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease unexplained by PRNP mutation or known risk factors for iatrogenic transmission of prion infection. Possible explanations include coincidental occurrence, common exposure to an unidentified environmental source of prions, horizontal transmission of disease, or the presence of unknown shared genetic predisposition.

(C) 2008 American Association of Neurop



S. Capellari1a, P. Cortelli1, P. Avoni1, G.P. Casadei2, A. Baruzzi1, E. Lugaresi1, M. Pocchiari3, P. Gambetti4, P. Montagna1, P. Parchi1. 1Department of Neurological Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; 2Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, ISS, Roma, Italy; 3Servizio di Anatomia Patologica, Ospedale Maggiore, Bologna, Italy, 4Division of Neuropathology, CWRU, Cleveland, OH, USA. a mhtml:%7B33B38F65-8D2E-434D-8F9B-8BDCD77D3066%7Dmid://00000208/!

We describe a case of sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI) occurring in a family in which several members carried the D178N mutation in the PRNP gene and died of fatal familial insomnia (FFI). A 43-year-old woman presented with an 11-month history of diplopia, withdrawal, confusion, memory loss, unsteady gait and inability to sleep with episodes of agitation and dream enactment. After a progressive course characterized by cognitive impairment, marked gait ataxia, signs of autonomic hyperactivity, and myoclonus the patient died 24 months after the onset of symptoms. The patient did not have any personal contact with FFI affected relatives and her closest one was a paternal uncle, the son of her grand-grand mother. Analyses of DNA from various tissues of endo- ecto- and meso-dermal origin, including 5 different regions of the CNS revealed no pathogenic mutations and methionine homozygosity at codon 129 of PRNP. Brain histopathology and PrPSc typing showed typical features of FI such as thalamic and olivary atrophy, focal spongiform degeneration limited to the cerebral cortex, relative sparing of basal ganglia and cerebellum, and relatively low amount of PrPSc type 2A accumulation. sFI represents the rarest among the sporadic human TSE subtypes described to date with less than twenty cases described worldwide and only three cases diagnosed in Italy since the establishment of TSE surveillance. Similarly, only six unrelated FFI families have been observed in Italy to date, making the probability of a chance association between sFI and FFI in the same family extremely low. Thus, we believe that our observation emphasizes the importance of undiscovered factors modulating the susceptibility to human prion diseases. Supported by the EU Network of Excellence “NeuroPrion” (FOOD-CT-2004-506579).

UK- Wife And Sister Of Man Die Of Sporadic CJD By Helen Morgan The Scotsman 10-3-4

A man today described the deaths of his wife and sister from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) as a "horrific coincidence". The man's wife, from Walham Green, Sandhurst, Gloucestershire, died last month after battling the sporadic form of the brain disease for 9 months.

The man's sister died 2 years ago after contracting the same form of the disease. Both women were 67 when they died. They were both treated in the same ward in the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. His wife's walking was first affected before her memory started to go. He said latterly she got very angry and violent due to her frustration at the disease.

Her husband, a retired fitter who is 70, said: "I feel terrible. I can't believe it. I feel completely in the dark and have no idea whatsoever why they died." CJD Support Network co-ordinator Gill Turner said there was one in a million cases of this form of the disease. She said every case of the disease is looked at by the CJD incident panel and believed the findings of these deaths would be "very interesting". "The likelihood of such close non-blood relatives getting CJD would be very unusual," she added.

According to the CJD Surveillance Unit in Edinburgh, 993 people have died of all forms of CJD in Britain between 1990 and 2004. Some 740 of those deaths were attributed to sporadic CJD, the most common form of the disease.

In October 1998 the simultaneous occurrence of spongiform encephalopathy in a man and his pet cat was reported. The report from Italy noted that the cat did not display the same clinical features as FSE cases previously seen. Indeed, the presence of a new type of FSE was suggested. The man was diagnosed as having sporadic CJD, and neither case (man nor cat) appeared to be affected by a BSE-related condition.

Image] Research letters Volume 352, Number 9134 [Image] 3 October1998[Previous] [Next] [Image][Image]

Simultaneous occurrence of spongiform encephalopathy in a manand his cat in Italy

[Image] Gianluigi Zanusso, Ettore Nardelli, Anna Rosati, GianMaria Fabrizi, SergioFerrari, Antonella Carteri, Franco De Simone, Nicola Rizzuto, SalvatoreMonaco

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) encompass inherited,acquired, and sporadic mammalian neurological disorders, and arecharacterised by the conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP) in aninsoluble and protease-resistant isoform (PrPres). In human TSE, four typesof PrPres have been identified according to size and glycoform ratios, whichmay represent different prion strains. Type-1 and type-2 PrPres areassociated with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), type 3 withiatrogenic CJD, and type 4 with variant CJD.1,2 There is evidence thatvariant CJD is caused by the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)-prionstrain.2-4 The BSE strain has been identified in three cats with felinespongiform encephalopathy (FSE), a prion disease which appeared in 1990 inthe UK.5 We report the simultaneous occurrence of sporadic CJD in a man anda new variety of FSE in his cat. A 60-year-old man, with no unusual dietary habits, was admitted in November,1993, because of dysarthria, cerebellar ataxic gait, visual agnosia, andmyoclonus. An electroencephalogram (EEG) showed diffuse theta-deltaactivity. A brain magnetic resonance imaging scan was unremarkable. 10 dayslater, he was speechless and able to follow only simple commands. RepeatEEGs showed periodic triphasic complexes. 2 weeks after admission, he wasmute, akinetic, and unable to swallow. He died in early January, 1994. His 7-year-old, neutered, female shorthaired cat presented in November,1993, with episodes of frenzy, twitching of its body, and hyperaesthesia.The cat was usually fed on canned food and slept on its owner's bed. Nobites from the cat were recalled. In the next few days, the cat becameataxic, with hindquarter locomotor dysfunction; the ataxia got worse andthere was diffuse myoclonus. The cat was killed in mid-January, 1994. No pathogenic mutations in the patient's PrP gene were found. The patientand the cat were methionine homozygous at codon 129. Histology of thepatient's brain showed neocortical and cerebellar neuronal loss,astrocytosis, and spongiosis (figure A). PrP immunoreactivity showed apunctate pattern and paralleled spongiform changes (figure B). The cat'sbrain showed mild and focal spongiosis in deeper cortical layers of all fourlobes (figure C), vacuolated cortical neurons (figure D), and mildastrogliosis. The cerebellar cortex and the dentate nucleus were gliosed.Immunoreactive PrP showed a punctate pattern in neocortex, allocortex, andcaudate nucleus (figure E). Western blot analysis of control and affectedhuman and cat brain homogenates showed 3 PrP bands of 27-35 kDa. Afterdigestion with proteinase K and deglycosylation, only samples from theaffected patient and cat showed type-1 PrPres, with PrP glycoform ratioscomparable to those observed in sporadic CJD1 (details available fromauthor). [Image] Microscopic sections of patient and cat brains A: Occipital cortex of the patient showing moderate spongiformdegeneration and neuronal loss (haematoxylin and eosin) and B: punctateperineuronal pattern of PrP immunoreactivity; peroxidaseimmunohistochemistry with monoclonal antibody 3F4. C: cat parietal cortexshowing mild spongiform degeneration (haematoxylin and eosin).D:vacuolated neurons (arrow, haematoxylin and eosin), E: peroxidaseimmunohistochemistry with antibody 3F4 shows punctate perineuronaldeposition of PrP in temporal cortex. This study shows a spatio-temporal association between human and felineprion diseases. The clinical features of the cat were different frompreviously reported cases of FSE which were characterised by gradual onsetof behavioural changes preceding locomotor dysfunction and ataxia.5Neuropathological changes were also at variance with the diffuse spongiosisand vacuolation of brainstem neurons, seen in FSE.5 The synaptic pattern ofPrP deposition, similar in the cat and in the patient, was atypical for aBSE-related condition. Evidence of a new type of FSE was further provided bythe detection of a type-1 PrPres, other than the BSE-associated type 4.2Taken together, our data suggest that the same agent strain of sporadic CJ was involved in the patient and in his cat. It is unknown whether these TSE occurred as the result of horizontaltransmission in either direction, infection from an unknown common source,or the chance occurrence of two sporadic forms. 1 Parchi P, Castellani R, Capellari S, et al. Molecular basis of phenotypicvariablity in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. ...end...TSS

24-nucleotide deletions in the prion gene: analysis of associated phenotypes Cervenakova, L, Brown, P,Piccardo, P, ... Gajdushek, DC, Goldfarb, LG in Transmisablle Subacute Spongiform Encephalopathies: Prion Diseases pp 433-444 L Court, B Dodet, editors. Elsevier, Paris 1996 Article notes by webmaster 20 Sept 1997 This is an interesting case where clinical, pathological, and immunocytochemical data strongly support the diagnosis of CJD in both husband and wife. The wife was the only caregiver during the husband's illness. The husband had died at age 54, after a 9 month illness of progressive mental and physical decline five years before the onset of clinical symptoms in his wife, who died at age 54, after subacute onset of agitation, confusion and mental slowness progressing to ataxic gait and myoclonic jerks, with severe gliosis and punctate prion imunoreactivity.

Genetically, the husband's prion gene was normal: no changes and homozygous methionine at codon 129. The wife had an R3/R4 deletion in one repeat region (a common polymorphism) and was also met/met. This allele may provide genetically determined susceptibility to environmentally CJD but is not normally causative.

The couple evidently lived in the US. The case record is consistent with horizontal transfer from husband to wife. There is no information provided as to occupation, dietary preferences, or travel history. Strain-typing was not reported -- however, this would not be expected to distinguish between horizontal transfer and common dietary exposure. Two unrelated cases of sporadic CJD at such early ages seems unlikely if the incidence is 250 cases per year in the entire US.

NEUROLOGY 1998;50:684-688 © 1998 American Academy of Neurology

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in a husband and wife P. Brown, MD, L. Cervenáková, MD, L. McShane, PhD, L. G. Goldfarb, MD, K. Bishop, BS, F. Bastian, MD, J. Kirkpatrick, MD, P. Piccardo, MD, B. Ghetti, MD and D. C. Gajdusek, MD From the Laboratory of CNS Studies (Drs. Brown, Cervenáková, Goldfarb, and Gajdusek), NINDS, and Biometric Research Branch (Dr. McShane), NCI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Department of Obstetrics (K. Bishop), Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Texas Houston Health Science Center, Houston, TX; the Department of Pathology (Dr. Bastian), University of South Alabama Medical Center, Mobile, AL; the Department of Pathology (Dr. Kirkpatrick), The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX; and the Department of Pathology (Drs. Piccardo and Ghetti), Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Paul Brown, Building 36, Room 5B21, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.

A 53-year-old man died of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) after a 1.5-year clinical course. Four and a half years later, his then 55-year-old widow died from CJD after a 1-month illness. Both patients had typical clinical and neuropathologic features of the disease, and pathognomonic proteinase-resistant amyloid protein ("prion" protein, or PrP) was present in both brains. Neither patient had a family history of neurologic disease, and molecular genetic analysis of their PrP genes was normal. No medical, surgical, or dietary antecedent of CJD was identified; therefore, we are left with the unanswerable alternatives of human-to-human transmission or the chance occurrence of sporadic CJD in a husband and wife.


Received May 5, 1997. Accepted in final form September 10, 1997.

Q J Med 2000; 93: 617-631 © 2000 Association of Physicians


Commentary papers

Is there evidence for exogenous risk factors in the aetiology and spread of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease? C. E. M. Hillier and R. L. Salmon From the Welsh Combined Centres for Public Health, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK


Case-to-case transmission in humans: case reports and series in which spread through everyday human contact is suggested There are six reports in which this possible mode of transmission is considered. The most recent is that of a couple from the USA who had been married for 30 years.47 The husband died at age 53. He had no relevant family history, but had had a rotator cuff repair one year before disease onset. His wife developed symptoms four and half years after her husband's death. She was morbidly obese and had had a previous hysterectomy, hernia repair and cholecystectomy. Both occasionally ate brains in the form of ‘kizka’, a type of sausage.

Immunocytochemistry confirmed pathogenic prion protein deposition in brain tissue from both husband and wife. Full sequencing of the open reading frame of the PRNP failed to demonstrate any pathogenic mutations. Another suspected conjugal case has recently been shown not to be CJD. The histopathological specimens did not stain for prion protein despite the microscopic appearance of spongiform change.48

Sporadic CJD has been described in two co-workers who shared a school wing for 9 months.49 The first was a 48-year-old Californian-born man of Hispanic American descent who had had a traumatic leg amputation at age 23, but was otherwise well. The second was a 48-year-old Chilean-born male who had a blood transfusion 6 months before onset of symptoms, and was known to eat lambs' brains. The first patient developed symptoms 5 months after the last contact with his colleague and was confirmed to have spCJD 2 months after this. The second patient developed symptoms months later and died 9 months after the last contact with his colleague.

An English woman, who died of CJD, histologically confirmed at post mortem, was known to have contact with several affected members of a family with familial CJD and was related to them by marriage.39 She had known one of the family, who later died of CJD and had afternoon tea with her at family gatherings, twice a year, for 20 years, as well as visiting in her final illness. The woman herself died 12 years later. There is another similar case of probable CJD, reported in a Chilean woman who died 13 years after contact with a family with familial CJD. No details of contact are given. A third case of death from CJD in someone related in marriage to a family with familial CJD has been reported in France, in a Tunisian family. No details are given with regards to family history or contact.21 What is notable about these last three incidents of supposed infection by social contact is that all have occurred in association with familial CJD. Although these patients were not known to have been genetically related to their spouses, the possibility that they came from the same gene pool cannot be dismissed.

Vol. 56 No. 12, December 1999

Mother With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Daughter With Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Bradford B. Worrall, MD; Lewis P. Rowland, MD; Maura Del Bene, RN; Dora Leung, MD; Steven S.-M. Chin, MD, PhD

Arch Neurol. 1999;56:1502-1504.

Objective To describe a mother who had autopsy-proved amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and her daughter who had clinically diagnosed Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Design Case reports with molecular genetic analyses.

Setting A tertiary care center.

Patients The mother had progressive upper and lower motor neuron symptoms and signs starting at the age of 54 years. Electrophysiological testing supported the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Autopsy results confirmed the diagnosis. Her daughter had received injections of human growth hormone prepared from pooled human pituitary glands as a child. At the age of 31 years, she experienced the onset of gait ataxia and dysarthria. Cerebrospinal fluid showed the 14-3-3 protein. Cognitive difficulties ensued. She progressed to a nearly akinetic and mute state. She had overt visible fasciculations and muscle atrophy in the legs.

Main Outcome Measures and Results Neither patient carried a mutation in the prion protein gene. Both were homozygous for methionine at the polymorphic codon 129. Neither patient carried a deletion of the 5 exons of the superoxide dismutase 1 gene.

Conclusions It is uncertain whether the 2 cases occurred in the same family by chance or whether the patients shared genetic risk factors for the 2 diseases. The possibility that homozygosity at codon 129 is a risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is being tested in a case-control study.

From the Departments of Neurology (Drs Worrall, Rowland, and Leung and Ms Del Bene) and Pathology (Dr Chin), Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY. Dr Worrall is now with the Department of Neurology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville.


Original Article Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease: Immunohistological and experimental studies Dr. June Tateishi, MD 1 *, Tetsuyuki Kitamoto, MD 1, Hideyuki Hashiguchi, MD 2, Hirofumi Shii, MD 2 1Department of Neuropathology, Neurological Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University 60, Fukuoka 812, Japan 2Department of Neurology, Kokura Kinen Hospital, Kitakyushu 802, Japan

*Correspondence to June Tateishi, Department of Neuropathology, Neurological Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University 60, Fukuoka 812, Japan

Abstract The older brother of the patient from whom the Fukuoka-l strain was isolated was found to have numerous kuru plaques, the main finding common to both siblings. Other clinicopathological features including spongiform change were absent in the older brother. Immunostaining using anti-kuru plaque core protein and anti--protein peptide revealed many kuru plaques and a few senile plaques in the older brother. Experimental transmission of the disease to laboratory animals was successful, using tissues from both siblings, through inoculation of fresh brain homogenates, purified prion protein, and formalin-fixed brain homogenates. Prion protein fractions from the patient's brain shortened the incubation periods and formalin-fixed mouse brains did not lengthen the periods. The disease in the two brothers can be classified as Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease, a familial variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease manifests a variety of clinicopathological features. Immunohistological verification of kuru plaques has major diagnostic value in assessing dementia.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Received: 30 November 1987; Revised: 20 January 1988; Accepted: 23 January 1988 Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


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