Studies of COVID-19 vaccines have suggested a link between Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) — an incurable and deadly prion disease — and getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
A recent French pre-print on CJD and COVID-19 vaccination has suggested that the COVID-19 vaccine may have contributed to the emergence of a new type of sporadic CJD disease that is much more aggressive and faster in disease progression compared to the traditional CDD.
CJD is a rare disease caused by an abnormal protein in the brain called a prion.
Prions occur naturally in the brain and are usually harmless, but when sick or misfolded, they will affect nearby prions to become misshapen as well, leading to brain tissue deterioration and death.
The disease is incurable because once a prion becomes infected, it will continue to reproduce to other prions without any treatment being able to stop its progress.
The majority of people with CJD have sporadic CJD; they become infected for no apparent reason. However, small subgroups of people are diagnosed as a result of inheritance.
Sporadic CJD, while random, has been associated with consumption of meat infected with diseased prions, such as in individuals eating beef from an infected cow.
While the Omicron variant of COVID-19 does not carry a prion region in its spike protein, the first Wuhan COVID-19 variant has a prion region on its spike protein. An American study indicates that the prion region is able to interact with human cells.
Therefore, when the spike protein gene information of the Wuhan variant was incorporated into a vaccine as part of the mRNA and adenovirus vaccines, the prion region was also included.
As part of the natural cellular process, once the mRNA is taken up into the cells, the cell will convert the mRNA instructions into a COVID-19 spike protein, leading the cells to believe it is infected so that they have an immunological memory. against a component of the virus.
However, the biological process of translating mRNA information into proteins is not perfect and immune to error.
A US study has speculated that a misfolded spike protein could in turn create a misfolded prion region that could be able to interact with healthy prions to cause damage, leading to CJD disease.
A peer-reviewed study in Turkey (pdf) and the French preprint have identified sudden CJD cases that occur after receiving the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines, suggesting a link between being vaccinated and being infected.
The French study found the onset of symptoms within 11.38 days of vaccination, while the case study in Turkey showed symptoms occurring 1 day after vaccination.
Previous studies of CJD in cannibal groups have shown that CJD can remain dormant for about 10 years or more after infection. However, authors of the French study have found that the cases of CJD seen after vaccination with COVID-19 start much faster.
The study identified 26 cases in Europe and the United States; 20 of the cases had already died at the time of writing the study, with death occurring an average of 4.76 months after vaccination.
“This confirms the radically different nature of this new form of CJD, while the classic form takes decades,” the researchers, led by Dr. Jean Claude Perez.