Thursday, November 05, 2009

Incidence and spectrum of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease variants with mixed phenotype and co-occurrence of PrPSc types: an updated classification

Incidence and spectrum of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease variants with mixed phenotype and co-occurrence of PrPSc types: an updated classification

Piero Parchi Æ Rosaria Strammiello Æ Silvio Notari Æ Armin Giese Æ Jan P. M. Langeveld Æ Anna Ladogana Æ Inga Zerr Æ Federico Roncaroli Æ Patrich Cras Æ Bernardino Ghetti Æ Maurizio Pocchiari Æ Hans Kretzschmar Æ Sabina Capellari

Received: 30 June 2009 / Revised: 16 August 2009 / Accepted: 17 August 2009 / Published online: 29 August 2009

 The Author(s) 2009. This article is published with open access at


Six subtypes of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease with distinctive clinico-pathological features have been identified largely based on two types of the abnormal prion protein, PrPSc, and the methionine (M)/valine (V) polymorphic codon 129 of the prion protein. The existence of affected subjects showing mixed phenotypic features and concurrent PrPSc types has been reported but with inconsistencies among studies in both results and their interpretation. The issue currently complicates diagnosis and classification of cases and also has implications for disease pathogenesis. To explore the issue in depth, we carried out a systematic regional study in a large series of 225 cases. PrPSc types 1 and 2 concurrence was detected in 35% of cases and was higher in MM than in MV or VV subjects. The deposition of either type 1 or 2, when concurrent, was not random and always characterized by the coexistence of phenotypic features previously described in the pure subtypes. PrPSc type 1 accumulation and related pathology predominated in MM and MV cases, while the type 2 phenotype prevailed in VVs. Neuropathological examination best identified the mixed types 1 and 2 features in MMs and most MVs, and also uniquely revealed the cooccurrence of pathological variants sharing PrPSc type 2. In contrast, molecular typing best detected the concurrent PrPSc types in VV subjects and MV cases with kuru plaques. The present data provide an updated disease classification and are of importance for future epidemiologic and transmission studies aimed to identify etiology and extent of strain variation in sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease.



Previous studies have addressed the issue of PrPSc types 1 and 2 co-occurrence in sCJD. Most of them raised the question of the influence of the number of cases and brain areas analyzed and emphasized the possibility that the cooccurrence of PrPSc types 1 and 2 is underestimated [13, 18, 20, 30, 37, 40, 43]. On the other hand, the use of a novel, potentially very sensitive approach, later shown to have pitfalls related to the detection of unspecific bands generated by partially digested PrPSc fragments [25], likely led other investigators to overestimate the incidence of the concurrent PrPSc types [35, 45]. Thus, the overall results on the phenomenon of the coexistence of molecular and clinico-pathological sCJD subtypes are at present inconclusive with respect to incidence, effect on disease phenotype and criteria for disease classification. To contribute to the full understanding of these issues, in the present study, we combined a systematic analysis of several brain regions in a large series of case including all codon 129 genotypes and the rarest phenotypes with the use of a refined methodology for the detection of the PrPSc type concurrence, which provides good sensitivity combined with high specificity [25].

After screening about 4,200 samples from a largely consecutive series of 200 cases, we estimated that PrPSc types 1 and 2 coexist in about 35% of sCJD cases, which is overall consistent with figures from some of the previous studies [13, 37, 43] in which the number of cases and areas analyzed were significantly lower. This finding supports the idea that PrPSc types co-occurrence involves a relevant but limited group of sCJD subjects and indicates that the incidence of the phenomenon had not been significantly underestimated.

As far as the characteristics of the CJD population with mixed phenotypes are concerned, our data show that the PrPSc types 1 and 2 co-occur more frequently in the MM than in the MV and VV genotypes. More specifically, the large majority of sCJD cases with concurrent PrPSc types combines features of the MM and MM 2C sCJD subtypes, in variable proportions. Most commonly, in such cases, the MM1 phenotype is predominant over the MM 2C phenotype, but the opposite situation also rarely occurs. The latter results significantly differ from those obtained in most previous studies. Indeed, Head et al. [13] mainly found a focal type 1 co-occurrence in MM and MV subjects with dominant type 2, Schoch et al. [40] detected the mixed protein types mostly in MV2 cases showing the type 1 only focally in subcortical areas, and Uro-Coste et al. [43] mainly detected a random co-occurrence of type 1 in MV or VV cases with dominant type 2. Given that only our study was based on a large series of consecutive cases, we attribute such heterogeneity of previous results to case selection biases, although methodological differences may also have contributed [43].

Since subjects with mixed PrPSc types represent a significant proportion of the sCJD population, show distinctive phenotypic features, and potentially represent a distinct subtype in terms of biological relevance, it is important that they are properly identified and are added as new subtypes in the current sCJD classification (Table 6). Despite the emphasis on molecular features of current sCJD classification, it has become increasingly clear that PrPSc typing alone, when limited to a single or even a few brain samples, fails to provide an accurate classification in a significant proportion of cases. This is mainly related to the focal nature of the ‘‘mixed features’’ in many sCJD cases with PrPSc types 1 and 2 concurrence. Indeed, we would have misclassified the disease subtype in about 27.5% (using 3F4) of cases with MM or MV genotype, if we had analyzed PrPSc only in the frontal cortex, the area more commonly used for typing worldwide. For the same reason, discrepancies may arise when PrPSc-typing and PrP immunohistochemistry are performed from individual samples taken from opposite hemispheres or even adjacent cortical gyri. However, our study shows that the regional deposition of either type 1 or type 2 when concurrent is not random and that a relatively limited number of critical brain structures must be assessed to reach an accurate classification. Furthermore, our results further underline the importance of applying both molecular and neuropathological assessment for sCJD subtype classification. In this regard, the lack of detection of PrPSc type 2 in a minority of MM subjects, despite the presence of a mixed synaptic and perivacuolar pattern of PrP deposition, indicates that when type 2 is very focal or limited in amount, histopathologic examination is more sensitive in identifying such cases than PrPSc typing, at least when only the 3F4 antibody is used. Given the very strong correlation in MM subjects between PrPSc type 2 detection and the large ‘‘grape-like’’ vacuoles and the perivacuolar pattern of PrP deposition on histopathologic examination, which is in line with results previously obtained in other studies [18, 37], we propose that these cases are classified as MM 1?2C or MV 1?2C even without the final proof of type 2 detection by western blot. Alternatively, PrPSc typing using the antibody 1E4 was in our hand as sensitive as the histopathologic examination in the detection of cases with very focal type 2. In the light of the present results, the most important regions to be assessed pathologically include the cerebral cortex from each of the 4 lobes, the striatum, hippocampus, thalamus and cerebellum. The cerebellum, in particular, is critical for the recognition of the synaptic pattern of PrP deposition as marker of PrPSc type 1 concurrence in the cases with dominant type 2.

Taken together, our data indicate that a protocol including the neuropathologic assessment of the eight brain regions mentioned above and PrPSc typing in four critical regions such as the temporal, parietal and occipital neocortices, and medial thalamus is strongly recommended for a reliable sCJD group classification addressing the issue of mixed phenotypes. Indeed, by applying this protocol instead of examining all 21 brain regions, we would have reached the same classification of cases in the present series.

We also wish to underline the importance of identifying correctly the sCJD cases with mixed features for transmission purposes. Indeed, the question of whether the concurrence of PrPSc types 1 and 2 in CJD reflects a coinfection by two prion strains related to specific undiscovered human genotypes, or determined by epigenetic factors remains unanswered and will largely rely on transmission studies in which the careful selection of samples will be of critical importance. Concerning this critical question, we find intriguing that the large, confluent vacuoles and the perivacuolar pattern of PrPSc deposition, we originally linked to sCJD MM 2C are also found in a subgroup of MV 2K subjects in addition to MM/MV 1?2C. In addition, we have described here the same morphological features in one case of fatal insomnia (i.e. the MM2-thalamic subtype or MM 2T) which adds to two previously reported cases [19, 30, 31]. Thus, it seems that large confluent vacuoles and the perivacuolar pattern of PrPSc deposition may be found in sCJD associated with all phenotypes linked to MM or MV at codon 129. Although this observation remains difficult to interpret at present, it appears relevant for our future understanding of the molecular basis and the extent of strain variation in sCJD. In any case, our observation strongly suggests that the phenomenon of mixed phenotypes in sCJD goes beyond PrPSc types 1 and 2 coexistence and also involves subtypes which shares the same PrPSc type. This, in turn, further underlines the importance of combining histopathological assessment and biochemical PrPSc typing for sCJD subtype characterization.

The present data also show that the association of two PrP27-30 fragments, which does not represent a bona-fide type 1 and 2 concurrence, may also be a feature of some sCJD cases. Thus, the PrP27-30 profile in VV2 cases in the cerebellum, thalamus and midbrain is sometime characterized by a doublet comprising a 18.5 kDa in addition to the typical 19 kDa band, while the western blot profile of PrP27-30 in the MV 2K cases appears almost invariably characterized by the association of two PrPSc core fragments including a classic 19 kDa type 2 band and a slower migrating band of about 20 kDa. Although these profiles truly represent concurrent PrPSc fragments, and the 20 and 18.5 kDa fragments likely reflect specific PK cleavage sites, the 20 and 18.5 kDa bands are distinguished from the type 1 and type 2 fragments because, at least to date, they were never detected independently from types 1 and 2, and are not markers of specific clinico-pathological phenotypes. Knowledge of these regional variations is nonetheless important to avoid misinterpreting a PrPSc profile as novel when only one brain region is analyzed [21].

Finally, the results obtained from the analyses of lesion profiles and clinical features in the subgroups of sCJD cases with mixed features deserve further comment. By showing that the relative ‘‘load’’ of each of the two PrPSc types significantly correlates with disease duration, the relative frequency of certain symptoms, and the ratio between cortical and cerebellar pathology, our study provides further strong evidence for the PrPSc type being a major biological determinant in human prion disease. In conclusion, the present data add to our knowledge of the prevalence and phenotypic spectrum of the sCJD variants with mixed molecular and pathological features, provide an updated molecular classification of the disease subtypes and will serve for future epidemiologic and transmission studies aimed at disclosing the etiology and extent of strain variation in sCJD.

Acknowledgments We wish to thank Barbara Polischi and Sabrina Boninsegna for her technical assistance. We also thank all the physicians who provided clinical data and helped in the collection of tissues and all family members who consented to the use of tissue for research. This study was funded in the frame of the bilateral Italy (ISS)–USA (NIH, Office for Rare Diseases) agreement on joint research on rare diseases, by the European Commission (FOOD-CT- 2004-506579), the Italian Ministry of University, Research and Technology (FIRB-2003-RBNE03FMCJ_006), the Federal Ministry of Health (ZV2-1369-340): grant PHS P30 AG010133, and the Gino Galletti Foundation.

Keywords Prion protein  Brain mapping  Molecular typing  Neurodegeneration  Classification

P. Parchi  R. Strammiello  S. Notari  S. Capellari Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche, Universita` di Bologna, Bologna, Italy A. Giese  H. Kretzschmar Institut fu¨r Neuropathologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universita¨t Mu¨nchen, Munich, Germany J. P. M. Langeveld Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR, Lelystad, The Netherlands A. Ladogana  M. Pocchiari Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, Istituto Superiore di Sanita`, Rome, Italy I. Zerr Department of Neurology, National Reference Center for TSE Surveillance, Georg-August University, Go¨ttingen, Germany F. Roncaroli Division of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Imperial College, London, UK P. Cras Born-Bunge Institute (BBI), University of Antwerp (UA), Antwerp, Belgium B. Ghetti Department of Pathology, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, USA P. Parchi (&) Department of Neurological Sciences, Universtity of Bologna, Via Foscolo 7, 40123 Bologna, Italy e-mail:

MANY, MANY THANKS TO Parchi et al for this study, AND for the public access to full text. ...TSS

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Characteristics of Established and Proposed Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Variants

Brian S. Appleby, MD; Kristin K. Appleby, MD; Barbara J. Crain, MD, PhD; Chiadi U. Onyike, MD, MHS; Mitchell T. Wallin, MD, MPH; Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH

Background: The classic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Heidenhain, and Oppenheimer-Brownell variants are sporadic CJD (sCJD) phenotypes frequently described in the literature, but many cases present with neuropsychiatric symptoms, suggesting that there may be additional sCJD phenotypes.

Objective: To characterize clinical, diagnostic, and molecular features of 5 sCJD variants.

Design: Retrospective analysis.

Setting: The Johns Hopkins and Veterans Administration health care systems.

Participants: Eighty-eight patients with definite or probable sCJD.

Main Outcome Measures: Differences in age at onset, illness progression, diagnostic test results, and molecular subtype.

Results: The age at onset differed among sCJD variants (P=.03); the affective variant had the youngest mean age at onset (59.7 years). Survival time (P.001) and the time to clinical presentation (P=.003) differed among groups. Patients with the classic CJD phenotype had the shortest median survival time from symptom onset (66 days) and those who met criteria for the affective sCJD variant had the longest (421 days) and presented to clinicians significantly later (median time from onset to presentation, 92 days; P=.004). Cerebrospinal fluid analyses were positive for 14-3-3 protein in all of the affective variants, regardless of illness duration. Periodic sharp-wave complexes were not detected on any of the electroencephalography tracings in the Oppenheimer-Brownell group; basal ganglia hyperintensity was not detected on brain magnetic resonance imaging in this group either. All of the Heidenhain variants were of the methionine/ methionine type 1 molecular subtype.

Conclusions: The classic CJD phenotype and the Heidenhain, Oppenheimer-Brownell, cognitive, and affective sCJD variants differ by age at disease onset, survival time, and diagnostic test results. Characteristics of these 5 phenotypes are provided to facilitate further clinicopathologic investigation that may lead to more reliable and timely diagnoses of sCJD.

Arch Neurol. 2009;66(2):208-215



snip...see full text ;

Monitoring the occurrence of emerging forms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United States 2003 revisited 2009

August 10, 2009


I would like to submit a review of past CJD surveillance in the USA, and the urgent need to make all human TSE in the USA a reportable disease, in every state, of every age group, and to make this mandatory immediately without further delay. The ramifications of not doing so will only allow this agent to spread further in the medical, dental, surgical arena's. North America seems to have the most species with documented Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy's, most all of which have been rendered and fed back to food producing animals and to humans for years. If you look at the statistics, sporadic CJD seems to be rising in the USA, and has been, with atypical cases of the sCJD. I find deeply disturbing in the year of 2009, that Human Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy of any strain and or phenotype, of all age groups, and I stress all age groups, because human TSE's do not know age, and they do not know borders. someone 56 years old, that has a human TSE, that has surgery, can pass this TSE agent on i.e. friendly fire, and or passing it forward, and there have been documented nvCJD in a 74 year old. Remembering also that only sporadic CJD has been documented to transmit via iatrogenic routes, until recently with the 4 cases of blood related transmission, of which the origin is thought to be nvCJD donors. However most Iatrogenic CJD cases are nothing more than sporadic CJD, until the source is proven, then it becomes Iatrogenic. An oxymoron of sorts, because all sporadic CJD is, are multiple forms, or strains, or phenotypes of Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease, that the route and source and species have not been confirmed and or documented. When will the myth of the UKBSEnvCJD only theory be put to bed for good. This theory in my opinion, and the following there from, as the GOLD STANDARD, has done nothing more than help spread this agent around the globe. Politics and money have caused the terrible consequences to date, and the fact that TSEs are a slow incubating death, but a death that is 100% certain for those that are exposed and live long enough to go clinical. once clinical, there is no recourse, to date. But, while sub-clinical, how many can one exposed human infect? Can humans exposed to CWD and scrapie strains pass it forward as some form of sporadic CJD in the surgical and medical arenas? why must we wait decades and decades to prove this point, only to expose millions needlessly, only for the sake of the industries involved? would it not have been prudent from the beginning to just include all TSE's, and rule them out from there with transmission studies and change policies there from, as opposed to doing just the opposite? The science of TSE's have been nothing more than a political circus since the beginning, and for anyone to still believe in this one strain, one group of bovines, in one geographical location, with only one age group of human TSE i.e. nvCJD myth, for anyone to believe this today only enhances to spreading of these human and animal TSE's. This is exactly why we have been in this quagmire.

The ones that believe that there is a spontaneous CJD in 85%+ of all cases of human TSE, and the ones that do not believe that cattle can have this same phenomenon, are two of the same, the industry, and so goes the political science aspect of this tobacco and or asbestos scenario i.e. follow the money. I could go into all angles of this man made nightmare, the real facts and science, for instance, the continuing rendering technology and slow cooking with low temps that brewed this stew up, and the fact that THE USA HAD THIS TECHNOLOGY FIRST AND SHIPPED IT TO THE U.K. SOME 5 YEARS BEFORE THE U.S. STARTED USING THE SAME TECHNOLOGY, to save on fuel cost. This is what supposedly amplified the TSE agent via sheep scrapie, and spread via feed in the U.K. bovine, and other countries exporting the tainted product. BUT most everyone ignores this fact, and the fact that the U.S. has been recycling more TSE, from more species with TSEs, than any other country documented, but yet, it's all spontaneous, and the rise in sporadic CJD in the U.S. is a happenstance of bad luck ??? I respectfully disagree. To top that all off, the infamous BSE-FIREWALL that the USDA always brags about was nothing more than ink on paper, and I can prove this. YOU can ignore it, but this is FACT (see source, as late as 2007, in one recall alone, some 10,000,000 MILLION POUNDS OF BANNED MAD COW FEED WENT OUT INTO COMMERCE TO BE FED OUT, and most was never recovered. This was banned blood laced, meat and bone meal. 2006 was a banner year for banned mad cow protein going into commerce in the U.S. (see source of FDA feed ban warning letter below). I stress that the August 4, 1997 USA mad cow feed ban and this infamous BSE firewall, was nothing more than ink on paper, it was never enforceable.

I propose that the current diagnostic criteria for human TSEs only enhances and helps the spreading of human TSE from the continued belief of the UKBSEnvCJD only theory in 2009. With all the science to date refuting it, to continue to validate this old myth, will only spread this TSE agent through a multitude of potential routes and sources i.e. consumption, medical i.e., surgical, blood, dental, endoscopy, optical, nutritional supplements, cosmetics etc. I propose as with Aguzzi, Asante, Collinge, Caughey, Deslys, Dormont, Gibbs, Gajdusek, Ironside, Manuelidis, Marsh, et al and many more, that the world of TSE Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy is far from an exact science, but there is enough proven science to date that this myth should be put to rest once and for all, and that we move forward with a new classification for human and animal TSE that would properly identify the infected species, the source species, and then the route. This would further have to be broken down to strain of species and then the route of transmission would further have to be broken down. Accumulation and Transmission are key to the threshold from sub- clinical to clinical disease, and key to all this, is to stop the amplification and transmission of this agent, the spreading of, no matter what strain. In my opinion, to continue with this myth that the U.K. strain of BSE one strain TSE in cows, and the nv/v CJD one strain TSE humans, and the one geographical location source i.e. U.K., and that all the rest of human TSE are just one single strain i.e. sporadic CJD, a happenstance of bad luck that just happens due to a twisted protein that just twisted the wrong way, IN 85%+ OF ALL HUMAN TSEs, when to date there are 6 different phenotypes of sCJD, and growing per Gambetti et al, and that no other animal TSE transmits to humans ??? With all due respect to all Scientist that believe this, I beg to differ. To continue with this masquerade will only continue to spread, expose, and kill, who knows how many more in the years and decades to come. ONE was enough for me, My Mom, hvCJD i.e. Heidenhain Variant CJD, DOD 12/14/97 confirmed, which is nothing more than another mans name added to CJD, like CJD itself, Jakob and Creutzfeldt, or Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome, just another CJD or human TSE, named after another human. WE are only kidding ourselves with the current diagnostic criteria for human and animal TSE, especially differentiating between the nvCJD vs the sporadic CJD strains and then the GSS strains and also the FFI fatal familial insomnia strains or the ones that mimics one or the other of those TSE? Tissue infectivity and strain typing of the many variants of the human and animal TSEs are paramount in all variants of all TSE. There must be a proper classification that will differentiate between all these human TSE in order to do this. With the CDI and other more sensitive testing coming about, I only hope that my proposal will some day be taken seriously. ...

please see history, and the ever evolving TSE science to date ;

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Monitoring the occurrence of emerging forms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United States 2003 revisited 2009

WHO WILL WATCH THE CHILDREN for CJD over the next 5 decades ?


Monday, October 19, 2009

Atypical BSE, BSE, and other human and animal TSE in North America Update October 19, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009




CVM Annual Report Fiscal Year 2008: October 1, 2007-September 30, 2008


BSE Feed Rule Enforcement: A Decade of Success OFF TO A FAST START


Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 9:07 PM

Subject: [BSE-L] re-FOIA REQUEST ON FEED RECALL PRODUCT contaminated with prohibited material Recall # V-258-2009 and Recall # V-256-2009


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