Links between obesity and prion-related diseases like Mad Cow were made some time ago. Prion diseases are known to make fat cells or "lipids"
mutate, but no one quite understands how it all works. Research presented at the recent Biochemical Society Symposium helps unravel the mystery.
A key molecular event in prion diseases is the conversion of PrP (prion protein) from its normal cellular form (PrP(c)) into the disease-specific
form (PrP(Sc)). The transition from PrP(c) to PrP(Sc) involves a major conformational change, resulting in amorphous aggregates and/or fibrillar
amyloid deposits. Here, we review several lines of evidence implicating membranes in the conversion of PrP, and summarize recent results from our own
work on the role of lipid membranes in conformational transitions of prion proteins. By establishing new correlations between in vivo biological
findings with in vitro biophysical results, we propose a role for lipid rafts in prion conversion, which takes into account the structural
heterogeneity of PrP in different lipid environments.
Biochem Soc Symp. 2005;(72):211-22. Lipids, Rafts and Traffic: Chapter 20 - Aggregation and fibrillization of prions in lipid membranes. Kazlauskaite
J, Pinheiro TJ. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, U.K. PMID: 15649144
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Scientists are working madly to understand how prion diseases like Mad Cow infect different cells to cause obesity and anorexia, diabetes, heart
disease, spinal cord injuries and other diseases.
Prion diseases are hard to diagnose because they do not show up on any standard medical tests. As a result, doctors and victims' families often
conclude that the problem is 'psychological.' Medical reports about prion-related diseases commonly state, "...the patient's complaints were thought
to have a large psychologic component."
Prion diseases are caused by infectious proteins called prions. Prions spread through the body slowly, one protein, then one cell and tissue at a
time. Eventually, whole organs may be infected as well as other body parts, the nervous systems, hormones and the immune system. The infection often
takes decades to move through the body and get to the brain: "The incubation period of iatrogenic TSE ranges from 15 months to 30 years... "
Mad Cow disease and other prion-related diseases are epidemic, contrary to what the 'damage-control' spin says. Most people are infected with one
strain or another. The question is not IF you have a prion disease, but where
it will come out in your body, and what
symptoms you will
have. Prion diseases are hard to recognize because they don't have a common course of progression, and "...clinical presentations may be atypical."
Almost every case is different, but obesity is a fairly common symptom of infectious prion and protein misfolding diseases.
Prion diseases are spread in several ways. They can be congenital, called "familial" or "inherited," and sometimes result in birth defects but not all
the time. Prion diseases can be "acquired," meaning caught through contaminated food or water for example. "Iatrogenic transmission" means "infections
acquired by the patient during the course of treatment," for example, spread through medicine, blood or tissues products or medical procedures.
The public is not informed about the links between obesity and Mad Cow-related diseases to prevent panic and "protect the economy." This results in
"blaming the victims" and sometimes, the victims' parents. Most recently, Georgia House Bill
looks to legislate the requirement that school districts include a child's Body Mass Index (BMI) on his report card. Arguably, such
legislation is not designed to help and protect but rather, to target.
"Blaming the victims" for having symptoms of epidemic infectious disease is leading us back to Eugenics programs and legislation. Not long ago, US
Eugenics laws targeted the "unfit" for sterilization, incarceration and "mercy killing."
"It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society
can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind... " Mr Justice Holmes's closing remark contained no consolatory words for
Carrie Buck, the 20-year-old unmarried mother sitting abjectly in the US Supreme Court.
...Carrie perfectly fitted the law's description of a "probable parent of socially inadequate offspring". ...the highest court in the land shared the
opinion of the Virginia Colony, Carrie Buck would be forcibly sterilised.
Thumbs up for the bright, white folks
There is a strong political movement in the USA arguing that the nation should re-instate the Eugenics laws that Mr. Justice Holmes upheld in the 1926
Supreme Court. Public support seems broad, but many people do not understand they're supporting Eugenics when they agree to "Personal Responsibility
in Health." Nor do they know that most of the targets suffer from infectious prion-related diseases. Or that obesity is only one "flaw" on the target
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Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Psychological Complaints: Mad Cow Disease and Spinal Cord Injury
NEWS: Should Kids Be Graded on Weight
SCI/TECH: Mad Cow Madness