Asian Pacific Society of Prion Research (APSPR)

News

●Prion2016/APPS2016
・The meeting was successfully ended on May 13, hosting over 370 participants from 26 countries all over the world.
・On the first day of the meeting, after the message of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzou Abe, the Tokyo Declaration, calling for international cooperation in promoting researches on elucidation of patho-mechanism and development of treatment, was adopted to promote further international academic collaboration.

●Board Meeting and General Conference of APSPR in 2016
・Board members’ meeting was held on May 12 at Gakushi Kaikan in Tokyo.
・General conference was not held this year during the Prion2016/APPS2016 meeting. Instead, all subjects reported or discussed in the Board Meeting are now open for discussion to every member via email.

●Related Prion Meetings
Prion2017 will be held on May 23-26, 2017, in Edinburgh, organized by Drs. Jean Manson and Richard Knight.
Key dates: abstract submission closes, December 2016; early bird registration deadline, March 2017.
・APPS2017 will be held on October 20-21, 2017, in Melbourne, organized by Dr. Steven John Collins of the University of Melbourne.

(Updated on June 21, 2016)


Asian Pacific Society of Prion Research (APSPR)

We have experienced over the last 20 years that prion diseases pose major threats to food safety through the prevalence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and the occurrence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. We also have recognized again that prion diseases pose important threats to medical safety because of the frequent occurrence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease associated with dura mater transplantation. Marked progress has been made in the last 20 years in the elucidation of the pathology of prion diseases as well as prion formation mechanisms, the development of diagnostic technologies for prions, and the development of technologies for prion inactivation. However, a long period of progress may unfold before prion diseases can be overcome.

The disease occurs sporadically in most human patients, although the causes and predisposition to susceptibility remain to be known. Basic studies of therapeutic and preventive measures have been actively undertaken, but neither measures to prevent disease onset nor feasible measures to halt the progress of the disease completely have been discovered. In animals, prion disease (chronic wasting disease) is still prevalent in fee-ranging deer and elk, which are therefore difficult to contain. Whereas typical BSE has been nearly exterminated in cattle because regulations on feed worked, atypical types of BSE still occur sporadically. Scrapie has been tried to be overcome by bleeding sheep with the scrapie-resistant genotypes, although atypical scrapie occurs in such sheep.

Phenomena similar to prions have been identified in the pathogenic proteins of various other neurodegenerative diseases and amyloidoses, expanding the prion concept. It has not been concluded whether the pathogenic proteins of these diseases also threaten food safety or medical safety in the same way that prions do, although it poses a very important question. Because the morbidity of these diseases increases along with aging, the diseases can pose severe difficulties for medical safety in countries with aging populations.

The earnest hope of the APSPR is that a new breakthrough will be born from more active information exchange and joint studies via close interaction of many researchers throughout the Asian Pacific region who are interested in prion and prion-like phenomena. We also sincerely wish that the APSPR will be the place for the exchange of many young-generation researchers supporting the conquest of these diseases. For these purposes, the APSPR aims to be the platform of the Asian Pacific region to contribute to the progress of research, education, diagnosis, and medical care for fields in which prion and prion-like proteins are involved. We hope that concerned persons will make good use of the APSPR in equal partnership, transcending the constraints imposed by field designations and national boundaries.

December 2015
President of the APSPR