Prion pathogenesis – how do prions reach the brain?

New research has suggested that the spread of prions to the brain does not occur via the blood–brain barrier, implicating other mechanisms such as retrograde axonal transport.

As most prion exposure occurs via extracerebral routes understanding the spread of prions to the brain after exposure could be critical to developing interventions and therapeutics. In this study, the researchers addressed the role of the blood-brain barrier in prion disease propagation by using genetically modified mice.

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