font size

Definition of Prion disease

Prion disease: A disease due to a prion, a proteinaceous infectious particle that lacks nucleic acids. Prions are composed largely, if not entirely, of an altered formal (an abnormal isoform) of a normal cellular protein.

The known prion diseases of humans and other mammals are:

  • Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) -- also called mad cow disease; the natural hosts are cattle; the prion involved is the BSE prion.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) -- the natural hosts are humans; the prion involved is the CJD prion.
  • Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS) -- the natural hosts are humans; the prion involved is the GSS prion.
  • Fatal familial insomnia (FFI) -- the natural hosts are humans; the prion involved is the FFI prion.
  • Kuru -- the natural hosts are humans; the prion involved is the kuru prion.
  • Scrapie -- the natural hosts of this disease are sheep and goats; the prion involved is the scrapie prion.
  • Transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) -- the natural hosts of this disease are mink; the prion involved is the TME prion.
  • Chronic wasting disease (CWD) -- the natural hosts of this disease are mule deer, white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, and elk; the prion involved is the CWD prion.
  • Feline spongiform encephalopathy (FSE) -- the natural hosts are cats; the prion involved is the FSE prion.
  • Exotic ungulate encephalopathy (EUE) -- the natural hosts are the nyala and greater kudu; the prion involved is the EUE prion.

See also: Prusiner, Stanley B..

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=25932
Last Editorial Review: 10/9/2012

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations