Rare Brain Disease Linked to Skin Prions
Creutzfeldt-Jakob is a rare brain disorder within the same category as mad cow disease. In short, mad cow disease deteriorates the brain by putting holes in it. This causes mental deterioration, muscular deterioration, inability to speak, and blindness. It has not been stated why, but the people who have this disease also have prions on their skin. This is a major breakthrough because this could become a key factor in diagnosing the disease. Many countries do not have the medical equipment, or medical personnel to carry out a brain biopsy (typically how patients are diagnosed) so skin diagnosis would prove extremely beneficial for these counties.
A major concern regarding this disease was its ability to be passed on. Seeing as how the prions are on the skin, it was speculated that through surgery, the disease will be able to be passed on. This is because the prions stick to stainless and are extremely hard to destroy. However, it was proven through experimentation on mice that the skin prions would have to be injected directly into the brain for even the slightest chance that it will be spread.
I hope they do further research in order to see if there is a linked gene between the disease and the prions on the skin.