What is Prion Disease? Treatment, Symptoms, and Types

what is prion disease

Prion Disease is a part of progressive neurodegenerative disorders family that can be found in both animals and humans. This article will discuss what is Prion Disease and the available treatment, known symptoms, and symptoms.

Note: Refer and consult to a doctor before taking any actions.*

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What is Prion Disease?

Prion disease is a part of neurodegenerative disorders and is a rare condition. Reportedly, only 350 cases are found each year in the United States of America. This situation occurs when the prion protein on the surface of the brain acts abnormal and forms clumps.

It can cause brain damage and a few other conditions like –

  • Memory impairment
  • Personality changes
  • Difficulties in movements

There are several diseases that accumulation of Prion on the surface can cause. These include familial CJD, Variant CJD, Kuru, and Fatal Insomnia.

Types of Prion Diseases

Human Prion DiseasesAnimal Prion Diseases
CJD (Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease)BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy)
VCJD (Variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease)CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease)
VPSPr (Variably protease-sensitive prionopathy)Scrapie
GSS (Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Syndrome)Transmissible mink encephalopathy
Fatal Familial InsomniaUngulate spongiform encephalopathy
KuruFeline spongiform encephalopathy

CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease): It is a neurocognitive disorder caused due to Prion. It is also known as a subacute spongiform encephalopathy.

vCJD (Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease): Causing painful sensations and behavioral or physiatric problems, vCJD is a brain disease. Moreover, it is also known as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy which is a result of Prion.

VPSPr (Variable protease-sensitive prionopathy): Similar to vCJD, VPSPr also shows symptoms like behavioral and physiatric changes. In this type of Prion protein condition, the patient can also have Dementia.

GSS (Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Syndrome): It is a rare condition in which the patient suffers from neurodegenerative brain disorder due to protein (Prion). Besides, there are certain early symptoms such as ataxia, difficulty walking, incoordination, and balance problems.

Fatal Familial Insomnia: FFI is a rare genetic degenerative disorder in which the patient suffers insomnia. Initially, it is at a mild level but can soon lead to physically and mentally worse conditions.

Kuru: Leading to physiological and neurological conditions that can lead to death, Kuru is a rare disease.

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Symptoms of Prion

  • Developing Dementia
  • Problems and difficulty in walking
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory impairment
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Speaking difficulty
  • Physiological and Behavioural changes
  • Personality changes

Treatment of Prion Disease

Unfortunately, as of today, Prion cannot be treated, but it can be slowed down with good care. The process includes medications, assistance, and a good intake.

Medications:

The doctors suggest there are several ways to slow down the prion effects through medicines. A few suggestive measures are –

  • Taking antidepressants or sedatives to treat the physiological conditions.
  • Opiate medication for pain relief.

Assistance:

Prion patients need assistance to perform daily chores. The main reason for this is an imbalance in daily life due to the patients’ neurological conditions. It is a neurodegenerative condition, and the possible symptoms include memory impairment, physiological conditions, and behavior changes.

Proper Intake:

It is important to note that people suffering from Prion disease need to have a proper intake. Intake of nutrients and other vitamins is important for slowing down the process. Besides, the patients may initially have to take IV fluids or feeding tubes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Prion Disease?

Prion Disease is a part of progressive neurodegenerative disorders family that can be found in both animals and humans.

Can Prion be treated?

No, Prion cannot be treated, but the process can slow down with proper medication, assistance, and hydration + nutrients.

What are the common symptoms of Prion?

Common symptoms of Prion are Memory impairment, Personality changes, behavior changes, and difficulty in movements.

Final Words

To sum up, Prion is a neurodegenerative disorder and is an incurable disease. It leads to brain damage, and common symptoms are memory impairment, difficultly in walking and movements, and behavior changes. Besides, proper medication can slow down the process, and the patient may live a bit longer than expected.

Prion is not a single disease, it is a family, and there are several prion diseases. Animals and Humans are both prone to prion, and scientists are working progressively to find a treatment.

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