Deadly Proteins in Stale Meat…
Scientists from the University of California have discovered the ability of dangerous prion proteins, causing a number of deadly neurodegenerative diseases, to accumulate in the eyes of man, a corresponding press release has been published on the Science Alert portal.
Like bacteria or viruses, these mysterious pathogens spread inside the brain like a deadly infection, causing healthy proteins to take on painful forms, experts say.
There are several ways to infect prion diseases, scientists say. Some forms of these diseases are hereditary, but they can also be infected by eating stale meat. In addition, the infection can be carried into the body during various operations.
Another cause of prion infection is corneal transplantation from deceased donors who have not been diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the most common prion disease, doctors say.
An analysis of such cases has shown that infectious prions can “hide” in the eyes of people, but until now the scale of this phenomenon has remained largely unknown, experts say.
Researchers suggest that prions enter the eye from the brain via the optic nerve, however, they also assume the likelihood of a reverse situation, when an infection enters the brain when a infected cornea is transplanted or when an unsterilized surgical instrument is used.
The next step in studying this phenomenon should be the development of diagnostic tests, with which, by analyzing the tears of patients with prion diseases, it will be possible to determine the presence of dangerous pathogens in the body, the scientists concluded.
Prions are a special class of infectious agents that are proteins with an abnormal structure.
These proteins cause diseases, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) in various mammals, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (“mad cow disease”).
All human-known prion diseases affect the brain and other nervous tissues of the body; at present they are incurable and deadly.
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