According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention new report published on Thursday, the eye may be a source for early CJD (Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease) diagnosis and stresses for routine eye exams and corneal transplants. The researchers have found the infectious agent in the eyes of the dead CJD patient. Prions are an infectious protein similar to a virus but lack nucleic acid.
Prion disease is not contagious, cannot spread from person to person by close contact. Once a person has developed prion disease, central nervous system tissues namely brain, spinal cord, and eye tissue become extremely infectious.
Prion infection, take a long time to spread, even many years to spread, to the neuron tissue. It originates when harmless prion protein molecules get infected, after which it forms clusters in the nerve tissue. Some common prion-related disease such as Alzheimers, Parkinson s, dementia or memory loss is due to this degenerative disease. The doctors should be very careful during eye transplant because the disease spread after infected persons corneal transplants.
This infected protein can take years, even decades to become noticeable, but once symptoms like dementia or muscle spasms appear, but also causes death
Japanese researchers identified 22 patients within the country who had developed a specific form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a neurodegenerative disease caused by prions, since 2008. The patient with contaminated dura mater transplant in the year 1985, developed CJD only after 30 years, 2015. The cases of dCJD have centered around Japan.
The Surgeons should be very careful as the instrument they are using may get contaminated with prion infection. So it is always better for the surgeons, to use the disposable equipment because this prion can survive even after sterilization.