Prion disease was first observed on Earth in the 20th century, where it was discovered to be the cause of a constellation of severe neurological disorders. These disorders had different names in different species; in humans, the disease was called variant Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease. The causitive prion was a misfolded version of a protein, PrP, that caused normally folded copies of PrP to refold themselves incorrectly, in a manner of speaking "reproducing" itself. Neurons containing sufficient misfolded copies died, and the resulting lesions produced the symptoms. The function of proteins generally depends as much on geometry as on composition; the two properties aren't independent, but larger proteins have multiple geometries, only one of which is generally correct. Healthy cells have a number of mechanisms for degrading and removing such mistakes. Illness develops when the cell cannot remove damaged material faster than more damaged material is created. Misfolded proteins have been observed (and are thought to be the culprits) in a number of disorders, includings Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease.
Moved from Talk:Prion replicationEdit
- Why? One is about a method of propagation, one is about prions themselves. That would be like have Wikipedia merge cell and mitosis. --OuroborosCobra talk 07:02, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Still, all the pertinant information on this page is already covered by the prion article, and though I agree that "prion replication" is a subtopic of "prions", paring it into a separate article for a single fact seems excessive. It's like spinning "history of the Enterprise-D" into a separate article from "Enterprise-D". -- Kingfisher 07:13, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
- Oh. Well, if you are going to go and make sense and all, I will just have to agree. --OuroborosCobra talk 07:16, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
- "Prion replication" has been merged with "prion". --From Andoria with Love 05:27, 9 April 2007 (UTC)