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A 34-year-old member asked:

What is a prion and what does it do to your body?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Peter Glusker
Neurology 47 years experience
Prion: Prions are proteins that have changed physical conformation, so that the normal function of the protein inside the cells cannot be accomplished. The prions' abnormal folding also causes other normal proteins to misfold and make more prions, spreading the process. The prions affect many cells in the body, but they particularly harm nerve cells in the brain, causing progressive rapid degeneration.
Dr. Steven Saunders
Internal Medicine 43 years experience
Prion: Sub viral protein which infects. Cause of jacob-creutzfeld disease, a dementing illness.

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A 48-year-old member asked:

How do prions enter the body?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology 52 years experience
By mouth: These abnormal proteins which can lead to brain degeneration are in food containing brain tissue from affected animals. Herds are checked for this so this incidence is very rare. Cooking does not destroy them. There are probably 1-3 cases of this in the us per year.

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Last updated Mar 26, 2013
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