We use our own and third party cookies to offer you our services, customize and analyze your browsing and show you advertising related to your preferences. By continuing to browse, we consider that you accept its use. You can change the settings and get more information in the
The process of diagnosing prion diseases starts with a clinical interview and a neurological examination. If the signs and symptoms observed during the visit are compatible with the disease, additional tests are carried out to support the diagnosis and rule out other diseases:
MRI. In 85% of cases, MRI can show changes in the brain such as an increased signal in certain sequences that make different parts of the brain (basal ganglia and cerebral cortex) ‘light up’ in a characteristic way.
Cerebrospinal fluid analysis. A sample is obtained by making a prick in the lower back. Because this fluid is in contact with the brain, analysing it allows changes in the brain to be identified. The detection of 14-3-3 proteins as a marker of neuronal damage and the presence of pathological prion protein in this fluid are extremely helpful when diagnosing these diseases.
Genetic testing: as 10-15% of cases are genetic, genetic testing is recommended for patients with prion diseases.
Electroencephalogram: this consists of placing several electrodes distributed on the head to painlessly record brain activity. They allow the medical team to rule out other diseases such as epilepsy, and provide data to support the prion disease diagnosis.
As is the case with all neurodegenerative diseases, the definitive diagnosis of prion diseases is by post-mortem examination of the brain tissue. However, current diagnostic tests allow a very accurate diagnosis to be made while the patient is alive.
Sorry this content wasn't helpful to you. Send us your comment and we will take it into account to continue improving.
Thanks for your help!
An error has occurred and we were unable to send your opinion, please try again later.
Substantiated information by:
Jordi Sarto Alonso
Raquel Sanchez del Valle DíazNeurology Head of Department
Published: 21 December 2021
Updated: 21 December 2021
The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.
Receive the latest updates related to this content.
Thank you for subscribing!
If this is the first time you subscribe you will receive a confirmation email, check your inbox
An error occurred and we were unable to send your data, please try again later.
Subscribe to the Newsletter of Clínic
Receive the latest news from our institution directly to your email.
Thanks for your subscription!
We have received your information. Check your inbox, in a few moments you will receive a confirmation email.
An error has occurred and we have not been able to send your data, please try again later.
More about assistance and health
Join our job pool
Hospital Clínic de Barcelona looks for talented professionals to cover job openings on a regular basis.