turkeydinosaur16
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Hi I'm an A level student doing a bit of research on prion diseases and was wondering if anyone could answer a few of my misconceptions/ queries.

1. Is dementia a prion disease? I'm aware there are rare forms of dementia like CJD which are definitely prion diseases but are all forms of dementia prion diseases?

2. Do all forms of dementia involve amyloid plaques and are these different to that of prion diseases?

3. Is Parkinson's a prion disease/ related to prion diseases?

4. Do other diseases other than prion diseases cause amyloid plaques in the brain?

Thanks in advance for any help
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artful_lounger
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For the first point I'm pretty sure dementia is a symptom, rather than a disease in of itself, which is caused by a variety of diseases. So I don't think it would be any more a disease than a sore throat is.


ecolier this seems like it might be in your territory?
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turkeydinosaur16
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
For the first point I'm pretty sure dementia is a symptom, rather than a disease in of itself, which is caused by a variety of diseases. So I don't think it would be any more a disease than a sore throat is.


ecolier this seems like it might be in your territory?
thank you
I'd read conflicting info on this so I'm glad I checked
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ecolier
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(Original post by turkeydinosaur16)
Hi I'm an A level student doing a bit of research on prion diseases and was wondering if anyone could answer a few of my misconceptions/ queries.

1. Is dementia a prion disease? I'm aware there are rare forms of dementia like CJD which are definitely prion diseases but are all forms of dementia prion diseases?

2. Do all forms of dementia involve amyloid plaques and are these different to that of prion diseases?

3. Is Parkinson's a prion disease/ related to prion diseases?

4. Do other diseases other than prion diseases cause amyloid plaques in the brain?

Thanks in advance for any help
I typed out a really long reply but it got deleted :argh:

Dementia can be a prion disease, but it's a symptom as artful said. It's much more commonly caused by other things.

Not all forms of dementia are related to prion disease (in fact only very very rarely is it linked to prion) , and yes they are different. Alzheimers dementia is related to amyloid deposition, dementia of Lewy bodies is related to alpha synuclein and vascular dementia is most likely secondary to multi strokes and injuries to the brain.

PD is not a prion disease, it's related to alpha synuclein like dementia of Lewy bodies.

Have a look at cerebral amyloid angiopathy, it's not direct deposition in the brain but the blood vessels of the brain. You may find that interesting.

In practical terms, prion diseases are so rare that if you suspect it - the doctors have to call the Edinburgh prion unit and one of their doctors will come down to your hospital to confirm (if it is likely) ! Definitely very uncommon but you do suspect it occasionally.
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turkeydinosaur16
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(Original post by ecolier)
I typed out a really long reply but it got deleted :argh:

Dementia can be a prion disease, but it's a symptom as artful said. It's much more commonly caused by other things.

Not all forms of dementia are related to prion disease (in fact only very very rarely is it linked to prion) , and yes they are different. Alzheimers dementia is related to amyloid deposition, dementia of Lewy bodies is related to alpha synuclein and vascular dementia is most likely secondary to multi strokes and injuries to the brain.

PD is not a prion disease, it's related to alpha synuclein like dementia of Lewy bodies.

Have a look at cerebral amyloid angiopathy, it's not direct deposition in the brain but the blood vessels of the brain. You may find that interesting.

In practical terms, prion diseases are so rare that if you suspect it - the doctors have to call the Edinburgh prion unit and one of their doctors will come down to your hospital to confirm (if it is likely) ! Definitely very uncommon but you do suspect it occasionally.
Thank you so much. That's cleared up my confusion. I'll research those now
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turkeydinosaur16
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(Original post by ecolier)
I typed out a really long reply but it got deleted :argh:

Dementia can be a prion disease, but it's a symptom as artful said. It's much more commonly caused by other things.

Not all forms of dementia are related to prion disease (in fact only very very rarely is it linked to prion) , and yes they are different. Alzheimers dementia is related to amyloid deposition, dementia of Lewy bodies is related to alpha synuclein and vascular dementia is most likely secondary to multi strokes and injuries to the brain.

PD is not a prion disease, it's related to alpha synuclein like dementia of Lewy bodies.

Have a look at cerebral amyloid angiopathy, it's not direct deposition in the brain but the blood vessels of the brain. You may find that interesting.

In practical terms, prion diseases are so rare that if you suspect it - the doctors have to call the Edinburgh prion unit and one of their doctors will come down to your hospital to confirm (if it is likely) ! Definitely very uncommon but you do suspect it occasionally.
Sorry one last thing

So dementia is caused by amyloid plaques but these are very commonly different to that of prion diseases?

Thanks again
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ecolier
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(Original post by turkeydinosaur16)
Sorry one last thing

So dementia is caused by amyloid plaques but these are very commonly different to that of prion diseases?

Thanks again
Nope. Dementia means cognitive impairment and can be caused by many things including amyloid plaques and prion.
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turkeydinosaur16
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(Original post by ecolier)
Nope. Dementia means cognitive impairment and can be caused by many things including amyloid plaques and prion.
Sorry I made an error there. I meant to ask if Alzheimer's is caused by amyloid plaques and that these are different to that of prion diseases???
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ecolier
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(Original post by turkeydinosaur16)
Sorry I made an error there. I meant to ask if Alzheimer's is caused by amyloid plaques and that these are different to that of prion diseases???
Yes. Alzheimer’s is a different disease to prion related dementia.
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turkeydinosaur16
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(Original post by ecolier)
Yes. Alzheimer’s is a different disease to prion related dementia.
But both are characterised by the formation of amyloid plaques????

Thank you
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ecolier
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(Original post by turkeydinosaur16)
But both are characterised by the formation of amyloid plaques????

Thank you
:cry:

Noooo... We are going round in circles here.

It's like pneumonia. It's a catch all term for lung inflammation but can be caused by many things - bacterial pneumonia or aspiration pneumonia for example. The former is because of bacterial infection and the latter is triggered after inhaling a peanut or other types of food or things that's not supposed to go down the trachea.

They are different diseases but can manifest in similar ways.

In the forms of dementia, Alzheimer's can be clinically very different from prion dementia (both in terms of symptoms and MRI scan findings). The only common thing they share is cognitive impairment (i.e. The dementia)
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turkeydinosaur16
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(Original post by ecolier)
:cry:

Noooo... We are going round in circles here.

It's like pneumonia. It's a catch all term for lung inflammation but can be caused by many things - bacterial pneumonia or aspiration pneumonia for example. The former is because of bacterial infection and the latter is triggered after inhaling a peanut or other types of food or things that's not supposed to go down the trachea.

They are different diseases but can manifest in similar ways.

In the forms of dementia, Alzheimer's can be clinically very different from prion dementia (both in terms of symptoms and MRI scan findings). The only common thing they share is cognitive impairment (i.e. The dementia)
Sorry last time I promise

So dementia has many different causes as its a symptom of which very few are prion related. Cognitive impairment can be caused by the build up of amyloid plaques like in Alzheimer's but could be caused by a wide range of things e.g. a stroke.

I was under the impression that prion diseases caused damage through forming amyloid plaques once the protein converted however, I'm not sure this is correct??? I understand that they are a protein which misfolds, disrupting brain function when it clumps together. Similarly, other brain diseases such as PD and CAA relate to the clumping of various different proteins which can also lead to cognitive impairment in different ways however, they are completely different diseases. Do they all essentially disrupt neurotransmission in one way or another?

Thank you so much for your time so far
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