Consumers

Prions

Certain types of prions (pronounced “PREE – ons”) can cause a neurodegenerative disease.  Prions are not living things, as we think of bacteria and viruses, which can replicate.

We all have prions in our body that perform normal functions. However, when we ingest a misfolded form of a prion, it can cause normally-folded prion protein to misfold. When enough of these misfiled prions build-up in our nervous tissues, especially the brain, they can cause a disease called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). 

 

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

The Bad Bug Book (US Food and Drug Administration)

Prion Diseases (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)