So I'm Giovanna Mallucci.
I'm program leader the
MRC Toxicology Unit
and professor of neuroscience.
And I'm also a
at the specialist interested dimensions
And I'm going to talk to you about
pathogenic mechanisms in prion
disease and also their relevance for
other neurodegenerative diseases,
So in this talk, I'm going to tell
you about the work we've done which
led to the discovery
that early prion
neurodegeneration can be reversed.
I'm going to tell you about
the discovery of the molecules
and pathways that underlie
this process, about
that cures prion disease,
and relevance to other
So just to introduce the
as a group, these include
Huntington's, ALS, and the rarest
of all are the prion diseases.
The top group-- Alzheimer's,
Parkinson's, and vascular dementia
and other forms of dementia--
threaten to be the second commonest
cause of death in
developed world by 2040.
And this is a massive global crisis
at the moment that led to the G8
summit on dementia, calling for a
cure for these disorders by 2025.
At the moment, they cost
1% of the world's GDP.
So there's a huge economic,
human, and medical burden
on societies of these diseases.
And although prion are the
rarest of these disorders,
they're very important
as they give us insight
And the alternate name
for all of those diseases
is the protein misfolding disorders.