Doctor insights on:
How Can Prion Diseases Be Prevented
Not much: There's not much we can do at present as some forms of prion diseases have to do with genetic mutations. Prion diseases can be transmitted by exposure to prion-contaminated tissues during a medical procedure. Another type of prion disease in humans, vcjd, is acquired by eating beef products obtained from cattle with prion disease. So stay away from beef from places with endemic prion disease. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
VERY rare: Prion disease are extremely rare Creutzfeld Jacob disease for instance has a one in million rate of occurrence Don't worry?! ...Read more
Not very: Hi, the most common prion disease is CJD, with a uniform incidence of approximately 1 case per million population both in the United States and internationally. Familial forms of prion diseases, such as GSS and fatal familial insomnia (FFI), are much more rare. About 10% of cases of CJD are familial, with an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance linked to mutations in the PRNP gene. ...Read more
No: There is no evidence--nor reason to think--that gm food should or could generate or increase infectious prions. Without comment on whether gm foods are a boon or a bane, the only way i could imagine this happening would be if some evil scientists deliberately created a gm food to generate bad prions in order to eliminate their own financial base ;). ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Never say never: Not something i would lose sleep over as a citizen; something i would pay a lot of attention to as as beef inspector. So far, safeguards seem solid. Yet, 1/3 of the wild elk population in the us west is "infected" with prion disease, without illness. Is this a problem, or normal nature? Prudence says pay attention, but don't panic. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Yes: Infectious types of prions have even been found in muscle tissue. But it's not that they could concentrate there adequately to cause infection. The entire biosphere has a substratum of prions with which all biological systems are in equilibrium. For infection to occur, this equilibrium must be tipped adversely which is hard to do. Feeding prion infected beef back to cattle can do, or cannibalism. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Have we gotten ahead of the game on prion diseases? Or are prion diseases likely to be major social/public health problems down the road?
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