If the hypothesis that CJD is caused by prions is correct, finding the answer to which one of the following questions...

Andrew on March 30, 2020

Please explain

I do not see any mention of thread-like structures other than the reference to the sponge-like tissue. Is that why E is correct?

1 Reply

on April 3, 2020

Hello @abowers9594,

This is a unique question, because it first asks us to assume that the CJD/Prion hypothesis is correct. If we assume that prions cause CJD, what would help the doctor make a CJD diagnosis?

I narrowed it down to B and E. I considered B because insomnia is a symptom of CJD. I supposed this would help the doctor make a diagnosis. However, after taking a closer look, I noticed the difference between "occasional bouts of insomnia" and "chronic insomnia." This alone is enough to eliminate B. It also doesn't really have anything to do with the prion hypothesis, which the question asked us to consider.

Take a look at line 36: "This cascade of transformations produces a plaque, consisting of thread-like structures, that collects in the brain and ultimately destroys nerve cells." We know that prions create these abnormal structures. We are assuming that prions cause CJD. Nerve cell death is a symptom of CJD. Therefore, if the abnormal structures are found in the brain, the doctor could confidently make a diagnosis. This is why E is correct.