Deutsche Zeitschrift für Nervenheilkunde

, Volume 192, Issue 3, pp 265–274 | Cite as

The significance of astroglial hypertrophy in Scrapie, Kuru, Multiple Sclerosis and old age together with a note on the possible nature of the scrapie agent

  • E. J. Field


Attention is drawn to certain resemblances between some of the pathological features of scrapie, kuru, multiple sclerosis and old age. It is suggested that there may be a common factor in these changes, that it is the hypertrophic change in glial cells, and that this resembles benign neoplasia. It is suggested that these changes are associated with aggregation of polysaccharide chains within the cytoplasm and that these foci “seed out” the further formation and aggregation of polysaccharide by the cell so that its metabolism is ultimately quite disturbed. Aggregates of polysaccharide chains may themselves act as further seeding foci so that an illusion of a self replicating agent may result.


Public Health Multiple Sclerosis Polysaccharide Glial Cell Pathological Feature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Auf gewisse pathomorphologische Ähnlichkeiten zwischen Scrapie, Kuru, Multiple Sklerose und Altersdegeneration wird hingewiesen. Ein gemeinsamer Faktor in diesen Veränderungen wird vermutet, bei dem es sich um hypertrophische Vorgänge in Gliazellen, ähnlich einer gutartigen Neoplasie, handelt. Diese Veränderungen könnten mit einer Aggregation von Polysaccharidketten im Cytoplasma in Beziehung stehen. Derartige Polysaccharidaggregate könnten als Foci einer weiteren Aggregation wirken und einen Vorgang auslösen, durch welchen der Zellstoffwechsel tiefgreifend beeinträchtigt wird. Solche Aggregate von Polysaccharidketten könnten hinwiederum als sekundäre Foci wirken, so daß die Illusion eines sich selbst reduplizierenden Agens resultiert.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. J. Field
    • 1
  1. 1.Demyelinating Diseases Research UnitMedical Research CouncilNewcastle upon Tyne 2Great Britain

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