The doctor spoke about the factors in the development of incurable prion diseases


On February 23, Andrey Pozdnyakov, an infectious disease specialist, chief physician of the clinical diagnostic laboratory of LLC INVITRO-Siberia, told Izvestiya about the dangerous pathogens of deadly diseases – prions.

Last week Mikhail Okhlopkov, Head of the Ministry of Health of Karelia, spoke about the incurability of prion diseases. On his page on the VKontakte social network, he noted that few people are aware of these pathogens, which do not belong to bacteria, viruses or fungi, even in medical circles.

As Pozdnyakov explained, prion diseases are primary cerebral amyloidoses, which are related to conformational diseases. They are of three types: infectious, hereditary and sporadic.

What is cerebral amyloidosis? In prion diseases, a group of atypical proteins, amyloids, begins to be synthesized in the central nervous system. They are deposited in all cells and lead to disruption of the central nervous system,” the doctor said.

He clarified that prions are proteins that differ from “normal” human proteins not in amino acid composition, but in an altered form. Simply put, a “normal” protein molecule is wrapped clockwise, while a prion molecule is wrapped counterclockwise.

“Prions can enter the human body as a result of infection (from outside), as well as for hereditary factors and other reasons. After entering the body, the prion begins to change proteins similar to itself in the pathological direction. This process is slow and avalanche-like, and no one knows why,” Pozdnyakov said.

According to him, with an abnormally constructed protein, the cell does not perform its functions and is rebuilt. Because of this, disorders of the central nervous system occur, which steadily progress – from behavioral reactions to serious violations of the functioning of organs.

At the same time, the doctor drew attention to the fact that such diseases are not transmitted through the air. Infection can occur either naturally (with food), or parenterally – when drugs containing animal components are introduced into the body.

“Animals also get prion diseases and die from them. Animals are used to make products such as bone meal, which are fed to other animals, and they also become infected. Since the disease develops very slowly, it may not be noticed, the animal may be slaughtered and the product sent for consumption. That is, it is possible to become infected with such a disease, but this is not a transmission from person to person. There will definitely not be an epidemic, ”Pozdnyakov added.

The day before, neurologist Artur Ulyakov told Izvestia about the symptoms of encephalitis and the complications that the disease can cause. The specialist warned against self-treatment, emphasizing that this could have negative consequences, especially for the health of the child.


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