“The challenge of studying neurodegeneration is that it’s a disease of aging,” Woerman said. “You have to let the mouse models develop for such a long time that research on cures is really slow to progress. Now, with these cell models, we can test how to inactivate alpha-synuclein aggregates at a speed that just wouldn’t be feasible in animals.”
Multiple System Atrophy is Described as First New Human Prion Disease Identified in 50 Years
By Nicholas Weiler on August 31, 2015
Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a neurodegenerative disorder with similarities to Parkinson’s disease, is caused by a newly discovered type of prion, akin to the misfolded proteins involved in incurable progressive brain diseases such Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), according to two new research papers led by scientists at UC San Francisco.
The findings suggest new approaches to developing treatments for MSA, which currently has no cure, but also raise a potential concern for clinicians or scientists who come in contact with MSA tissue.
The new findings mark the first discovery of a human disease caused by a new prion in 50 years, since work at the National Institutes of Health in the 1960s showed that human brain tissue infected with CJD could transmit neurodegeneration to chimpanzees…