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Br Med Bull. 2003;66:241-54.

Molecular and clinical classification of human prion disease.

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MRC Prion Unit and Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology, University College, London, UK.


While rare in humans, the prion diseases have become an area of intense clinical and scientific interest. The recognition that variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is caused by the same prion strain as bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle has dramatically highlighted the need for a precise understanding of the molecular biology of human prion diseases. Detailed clinical, pathological and molecular data from a large number of human prion disease cases have shown that distinct abnormal isoforms of prion protein are associated with prion protein gene polymorphism and neuropathological phenotypes. A molecular classification of human prion diseases seems achievable through characterisation of structural differences of the infectious agent itself.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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