[New knowledge about Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease can yield therapeutic possibilities]
Author(s): Stolsmark T, Tysnes OB
Affiliation(s): Det medisinske fakultet, Universitetet i Bergen, Postboks 7800, 5020 Bergen, Norway. firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date & source: 2010-03-25, Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen., 130(6):601-4.
Publication type: English Abstract; Review
BACKGROUND: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare neurological disease which is always terminal, often within months. The disease attracted attention in the 1990 s, when reports appeared about people acquiring the disease by eating meat from cattle infected with BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). Recent progress within research on CJD has raised hopes about finding a treatment. The most promising results of this research are presented. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The review is based on articles (and references in them) identified through non-systematic searches in PubMed. RESULTS: CJD is a disease that emerges when the cellular form of the prion protein PrPC is transformed into the disease-associated PrPSc. Transgenic mice that did not express PrPC did not develop clinical signs of the disease after being exposed to prions. Both administration of antibodies towards PrPC and use of RNA interference technique to reduce PrPC gene expression increased the survival time in mice. Pentosan polysulphate (a drug against interstitial cystitis) infused intraventriculary in mice, prolonged the incubation time from 51 to 123 days. The drug has been tested in patients with CJD with promising results with respect to survival time. INTERPRETATION: New treatment modalities have shown results that raise hopes about finding curative treatment in the future.