Mathematical Models of Prion Proliferation

Glenn Webb
Department of Mathematics, Vanderbilt University

(November 1, 2005 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM)

Mathematical Models of Prion Proliferation

Abstract

Prions are infectious proteins that are hypothesized to be the causative agent of diseases such as Creutzfeld-Jacob disease in humams, scrapie in sheep, and bovine spongiform encephalopathies in cows (mad cow disease). This hypothesis is controversial, because prion populations are capable of proliferation even though prions do not contain DNA or RNA. A mathematical model is analyzed to explain prion proliferation. Them model consists of a system of nonlinear ordinary and partial differential equations. An analysis is given of the model, and model simulations are compared to experimental data.