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The World in Medicine
July 11, 2001

Detecting Prions

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JAMA. 2001;286(2):159. doi:10.1001/jama.286.2.159-JWM10006-2-1

Diagnosis of diseases believed to be caused by the abnormal proteins called prions has been hampered by the fact that current tests are unable to detect the small amounts of prions in tissues outside the brain. Now, a new technique for replicating minute amounts of prions could pave the way for early detection of prion diseases such as scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy in animals and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, according to a new report in the June 14 Nature.