MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Wenquan Zou, MD, PhD
Departments of Pathology and Neurology
Director of CJD Skin Project
National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center
Institute of Pathology
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Would you briefly explain the significance of prion-induced diseases and why they have been difficult to diagnosis?
Response: Our previous study has demonstrated that infectious prions are detectable in the skin samples of patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), the most common form of human prion disease, at the terminal stage by the highly sensitive real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assay and animal-based bioassay.
The prion-induced diseases are significant because they are infectious diseases that can be transmitted inter-species and intra-species. For instance, mad cow disease, a prion disease in cattle, has been documented to transmit to humans. Currently, there are no cures for these fatal diseases.
The definite diagnosis of prion diseases is difficult because it mainly depends on the availability of brain tissues obtained either by biopsy or autopsy for detection of prions. Brain biopsy is highly invasive and it is difficult to be accepted by patients and their families. Even for brain autopsy, it is not always feasible because of religious and cultural limitations in some regions or countries. Continue reading