Send to

Choose Destination
Lancet Neurol. 2012 Jul;11(7):618-28. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(12)70063-7.

Sporadic human prion diseases: molecular insights and diagnosis.

Author information

Division of Neurology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Lancet Neurol. 2012 Oct;11(10):841.


Human prion diseases can be sporadic, inherited, or acquired by infection. Distinct clinical and pathological characteristics separate sporadic diseases into three phenotypes: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), fatal insomnia, and variably protease-sensitive prionopathy. CJD accounts for more than 90% of all cases of sporadic prion disease; it is commonly categorised into five subtypes that can be distinguished according to leading clinical signs, histological lesions, and molecular traits of the pathogenic prion protein. Three subtypes affect prominently cognitive functions whereas the other two impair cerebellar motor activities. An accurate and timely diagnosis depends on careful clinical examination and early performance and interpretation of diagnostic tests, including electroencephalography, quantitative assessment of the surrogate markers 14-3-3, tau, and of the prion protein in the CSF, and neuroimaging. The reliability of CSF tests is improved when these tests are interpreted alongside neuroimaging data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center