Why doxycycline’s failure in CJD clinical trials is no surprise

Last month, clinical research teams from France and Italy jointly reported on the long-awaited results of double-blind clinical trials of doxycycline for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease [Haik & Marcon 2014].  The result in two words: no efficacy.  But before I dissect … Continue reading

Prion kinetic models and the relationship between inoculum titer and incubation time

In a post last month I presented a simple exponential model of prion propagation in vivo and then tested whether it could explain the relationship between PrPC expression level and prion incubation time. The answer: it couldn’t, at least not without … Continue reading

An introduction to Murcko fragments and structure-activity relationships using rcdk

Over the past few months I’ve learned a few basics of chemical informatics. I started with a few basics of how to use rcdk- that’s Rajarshi Guha‘s cheminformatics package for R [Guha 2007] - used these to compare the properties of CNS drugs … Continue reading

Why a simple exponential model of prion kinetics in vivo won’t work

In a recent post I explored the kinetic models of prion propagation in cell culture, walking through the logic of [Ghaemmaghami 2007] and showing why the simplest model isn’t sufficient to explain observed results. Here I want to do the … Continue reading

Does spontaneous prion disease begin in the brain?

Yes. Right? background A great deal of effort has gone into studying how peripherally acquired prion diseases make their way into the brain [reviewed in Mabbott & Macpherson 2006].  In general, it is thought that prions acquired peripherally – whether … Continue reading